Members of the genus Otus are the Scops and Screech owls. They are relatively small owls, with short, rounded wings. Most have erectile ear-tufts. Otus is a worldwide genus, containing some 45 species.
Listen to the sound of Ryukyu Scops Owl
[audio:http://www.planetofbirds.com/MASTER/STRIGIFORMES/Strigidae/sounds/Ryukyu Scops Owl.mp3]
Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto
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|size min.:||19||cm||size max.:||20||cm|
|incubation min.:||29||days||incubation max.:||31||days|
|fledging min.:||29||days||fledging max.:||31||days|
Video Ryukyu Scops Owl
copyright: Desmond Allen
It is common wherever suitable habitat remains on the Nansei Shoto, and is presumed to have quite a large population there. The population that persisted on Kita-daito is apparently extinct but 245 territorial males were estimated on adjacent Minami-daito during the 2005 breeding season. It has a population estimated at c.1000 birds on Lanyu Island, and it has been described as fairly common on the Batanes and Babuyan islands. However, its range must have been much reduced and fragmented in the Philippines by deforestation, although its population it thought to be stable on Lanyu Island and its prospects for survival there are good so long as suitable habitat is protected. It is presumably also relatively secure on the Nansei Shoto, but its extirpation from Kita-daito highlights it vulnerability to extensive forest clearance (the island is almost entirely under cultivation now).