Birds A-Z

Cyprus Scops Owl

Otus cyprius


Yoav Perlman, Xeno-canto


Key information: The Cyprus Scops Owl is a tiny owl, endemic to Cyprus. During the day, it can occasionally be seen sitting very still on the branches of trees, although it is more likely to be heard at night than seen in daylight. Its territorial two-note call, a characteristic sound of early spring in Cyprus, is what usually signifies its presence. This whistling call differs from that of the Eurasian Scops Owl, which is a one-note whistle. It nests in the hollows of trees such as conifers and olive trees, and has been found to nest regularly in nest boxes placed for larger owl species, such as the Barn Owl.

Length: 19 – 21 cm | Wingspan: 47 – 54 cm

Habitat: Mountains and forests, farmland, towns and villages

When they can be seen: All year round

What they eat: Invertebrates

In Cyprus: Can be seen all over the island in forests, gardens, olive groves, farms and open spaces with some trees

Status: Resident breeder

Illustration by Paschalis Dougalis

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