Oriental Scops Owl
Oriental scops owl (left) with a chestnut-backed owlet
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Strigiformes
Family: Strigidae
Genus: Otus
O. sunia
Binomial name
Otus sunia

(Hodgson, 1836)

Near Kaeng Krachen National Park, Thailand

The oriental scops owl (Otus sunia) is a species of scops owl found in eastern and southern Asia.


This is a small, variable plumaged, yellow eyed owl with ear-tufts which are not always erect. It can be distinguish from the collared scops owl by its whitish scapular stripe, well marked underparts, and lack of pale collar. There are two colour morphs, grey and rufous; intermediate forms also occur. Sexes are similar in appearance. Individuals may freeze with eyes half closed when disturbed. The species has a repeated liquid call sounding like “tuk tok torok”.

Distribution and habitat

The species has an extremely wide distribution across eastern and southern Asia, and is found in dry deciduous forests from Russia to Thailand. The owl nests in holes in trees during February–April.