Collared Scops Owl

The Collared Scops Owl (Otus backgammon) is a resident breeding owl of eastern Arabia through most of India, except far north, and Sri Lanka east to Indonesia. This species is part of the larger grouping of typical owls known as Strigidae, which are the most common species of owl. The other grouping is the barn owls known as Tytonidae. The Collared Scops Owl is commonly found in forests and other well-wooded areas.

The Collared Scops Owl is a small owl, 9 to 10 inches in length, although it is the largest of the Scops Owls. It has small head tufts, or ears. The upper parts are gray or brown with faint beige spotting. The under parts are beige with fine darker streaking. The facial disc is whitish or beige, and eyes are orange or brown. There is a beige neckband. Sexes are similar.

This species is nocturnal. Through its natural camouflage, it is very difficult to see in daytime. But it can often be located by the small birds that mob it while it roosts in a tree. It nests a hole in a tree, laying 3 to 5 eggs. It feeds mainly on insects.

This species is very similar to the slightly larger Indian Scops Owl and the Oriental Scops Owl. They can be separated distinctly by eye color.