Kate

Whittington

Science writer and illustrator


Giant Scops Owl (Otus gurneyi)

Also known as Lesser Eagle-Owl or Mindanao Eagle-Owl.
Conservation Status: Classified as “Vulnerable” on the IUCN red list.

The Giant scops owl is a medium-sized owl, around 30 cm in length. It has dark eyes, large ear tufts, white eyebrows and a red/brown face outlined with flecks of black. Its crown and upperparts are a red/brown colour with darker streaks and its underparts are pale with bold black streaks.

Its call is a loud “wuaah” repeated every 10-20 seconds in series of 5-10 calls.
You can listen to its call here.

The Giant Scops Owl is native to the Philippines and is found in Dinagat, Siargo and Mindanao. It inhabits primary, secondary and selectively logged tropical forests, primarily in the lowlands (<680m), but has been found up to 1,300m.

The present population is estimated at approximately 3,550 – 15,000 individuals but is becoming increasingly smaller and more fragmented.There has been extensive lowland deforestation across the majority of the Giant Scops Owl’s range and most remaining lowland forest tracts are currently leased to logging concessions and mining applications.

This illustration was produced for Endangered Species International to be used on a trail of interpretive signs through the Mount Matutum protected area in the Philippines. The trail will be guided by members of the local indigenous B’laan tribe and aims to teach visitors and locals the importance of this habitat for a number of unique and threatened species.

Information from:
BirdLife International (2012) Species factsheet: Otus gurneyi. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/speciesfactsheet.php?id=2213 on 07/11/2012.