Eurasian Scops-owl Otus scops


Taxonomic note
Otus scops has been split into Eurasian Scops-owl O. scops and Cyprus Scops-owl O. cyprius on the basis on significant vocal differences and minor plumage characteristics following a detailed review by Flint et al. 2015).

Taxonomic source(s)
Handbook of the Birds of the World and BirdLife International. 2019. Handbook of the Birds of the World and BirdLife International digital checklist of the birds of the world. Version 4. Available at:

IUCN Red list criteria met and history
Red List criteria met
Critically Endangered Endangered Vulnerable
- - -

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2021 Least Concern
2019 Least Concern
Species attributes

Migratory status full migrant Forest dependency Medium
Land mass type Average mass -

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 33,900,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 33,400,000 medium
Number of locations -
Severely Fragmented -
Population and trend
Value Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 790000-1350000 poor suspected 2012
Population trend Decreasing suspected -
Decline (3 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (5 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation future) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation past and future) - - -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Percentage in largest subpopulation - - -

Population justification: The European population is estimated at 226,000-380,000 pairs, which equates to 453,000-759,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International in prep.). Europe forms approximately 57% of the global range, so a very preliminary estimate of the global population size is 795,000-1,332,000 mature individuals, although further validation of this estimate is needed. It is placed in the band 790,000-1,350,000 mature individuals.

Trend justification: The population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction. In Europe, the population is estimated to be stable over three generations (BirdLife International in prep.).

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Afghanistan N Extant Yes
Albania N Extant Yes
Algeria N Extant Yes Yes
Andorra N Extant Yes
Armenia N Extant Yes
Austria N Extant Yes
Azerbaijan N Extant Yes
Bahrain V Extant
Belarus N Extant Yes
Belgium V Extant
Benin N Extant Yes
Bulgaria N Extant Yes
Burkina Faso N Extant Yes
Burundi V Extant
Cameroon N Extant Yes
Central African Republic N Extant Yes
Chad N Extant Yes
China (mainland) N Extant Yes
Congo, The Democratic Republic of the N Extant Yes
Côte d'Ivoire N Extant Yes
Croatia N Extant Yes
Cyprus V Extant
Czechia V Extant
Denmark V Extant
Djibouti N Extant Yes
Egypt N Extant Yes
Equatorial Guinea V Extant
Eritrea N Extant Yes
Ethiopia N Extant Yes
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) V Extant
France N Extant Yes
Gambia N Extant Yes
Georgia N Extant Yes
Germany V Extant
Ghana N Extant Yes
Gibraltar (to UK) N Extant Yes
Greece N Extant Yes Yes
Guinea N Extant Yes
Hungary N Extant Yes
Iceland V Extant
Iran, Islamic Republic of N Extant Yes
Iraq N Extant Yes
Ireland V Extant
Israel N Extant Yes
Italy N Extant Yes Yes
Jordan N Extant Yes
Kazakhstan N Extant Yes
Kenya N Extant Yes
Kuwait V Extant
Kyrgyzstan N Extant Yes
Latvia V Extant
Lebanon N Extant Yes
Liberia N Extant Yes
Libya N Extant Yes
Liechtenstein V Extant
Lithuania V Extant
Luxembourg V Extant
Mali N Extant Yes Yes
Malta V Extant
Mauritania N Extant Yes Yes
Moldova N Extant Yes
Mongolia N Extant Yes
Montenegro N Extant Yes
Morocco N Extant Yes Yes
Netherlands V Extant
Niger N Extant Yes Yes
Nigeria N Extant Yes Yes
North Macedonia N Extant Yes
Norway V Extant
Oman V Extant
Pakistan N Extant Yes
Palestine N Extant Yes
Poland V Extant
Portugal N Extant Yes
Qatar V Extant
Romania N Extant Yes
Russia N Extant Yes
Russia (Asian) N Extant Yes
Russia (Central Asian) N Extant Yes
Russia (European) N Extant Yes
Rwanda V Extant
Saudi Arabia V Extant
Senegal N Extant Yes
Serbia N Extant Yes
Seychelles V Extant
Sierra Leone N Extant Yes
Slovakia N Extant Yes
Slovenia N Extant Yes
Somalia N Extant Yes
South Sudan N Extant Yes
Spain N Extant Yes Yes
Sudan N Extant Yes Yes
Sweden V Extant
Switzerland N Extant Yes
Syria N Extant Yes
Tajikistan N Extant Yes
Tanzania V Extant
Togo N Extant Yes
Tunisia N Extant Yes Yes
Turkey N Extant Yes Yes
Turkmenistan N Extant Yes
Uganda N Extant Yes
Ukraine N Extant Yes
United Arab Emirates V Extant
United Kingdom V Extant
Uzbekistan N Extant Yes
Western Sahara N Extant Yes
Yemen V Extant

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Andorra Pirineo de Andorra
Serbia Subotica lakes and sandy terrain
Serbia Deliblatska pescara
Serbia Resava gorge
Serbia Zlot gorge--Dubasnica
Serbia Fruska gora
Azerbaijan Alazani river valley
Azerbaijan Alty Agach area
Azerbaijan Mount Babadag
Azerbaijan Gekchai Bozdag mountains
Azerbaijan Mount Giamysh
Azerbaijan Girkan forest
Azerbaijan Ilisu area
Azerbaijan Ismailly area
Azerbaijan Kusari (Gusari) area
Azerbaijan Lachin area
Azerbaijan Shamkhor area
Azerbaijan Sheki upland
Bulgaria Srebarna
Bulgaria Central Balkan
Bulgaria Rayanovtsi
Bulgaria Western Balkan
Bulgaria Kresna Gorge
Bulgaria Ponor
Bulgaria Byala Reka
Bulgaria Madzharovo
Bulgaria Radinchevo
Bulgaria Kamchiyska Mountain
Bulgaria Provadiysko-Royaksko plateau
Romania Miheşu de Câmpie-Taureni fish-ponds
Slovenia Ljubljansko moor
Slovenia Reka valley
Slovenia Kočevsko
Slovenia Sečovlje saltpans
Slovenia Goričko
Slovenia Karst
Poland Bieszczady Mountains
Greece National Park of Dadia - Lefkimi - Soufli forest
Greece Lake Ismarida (Mitrikou)
Greece Porto Lagos, lake Vistonida and coastal lagoons
Greece Filiouri valley and eastern Rodopi mountains
Greece Kompsatos valley
Greece Nestos delta and coastal lagoons
Greece Nestos gorge
Greece Mount Menoikio
Greece Lake Kerkini
Greece Mount Beles (Kerkini)
Greece Mount Pangaio
Greece Mount Krousia (Mavrovouni and Dysoro)
Greece Mount Itamos
Greece Apsalos and Moglenitsa gorges
Greece Kalamaki gorge and Zarkou mountains
Greece Kato Olympos, Tempi gorge and mount Ossa
Greece Mount Mavrovouni, Larisa
Greece Acherontas gorge and estuary
Greece Amvrakikos gulf
Greece Acheloos valley
Greece Mesolongi and Aitoliko lagoons, Acheloos delta and Evinos estuary
Greece Mount Gkiona
Greece Mount Othrys
Greece Mount Pilio
Greece Mount Kantili
Greece Mount Ochi and surrounding marine area
Greece Kalogria lagoon, Strofylia forest and Lamia marshes
Greece Barbas and Klokos mountains and Selinountas gorge
Greece Vouraïkos gorge and Kalavryta
Greece Mount Taygetos
Greece Divari Pylou (Gialova) lagoon and Sfaktiria island
Greece Southern Mani, mount Sangias and cape Tainaro
Greece Evrotas delta
Greece Mount Koutroulis, Mount Agios Dikaios and Modia plateau, Crete
Greece Lefka Ori mountains, Crete
Greece Lake Kourna, Almyros delta and Georgioupolis coast, Crete
Greece Mount Asterousia (Kofinas), Crete
Greece Mount Dikti, Crete
Greece Dionysades islets, Crete
Greece Kasos island and surrounding islets
Greece Mountains of Naxos
Greece Islands and islets of northern Sporades and northwestern coast of Alonnisos
Greece Kalloni Gulf, Lesvos
Greece Tilos island and surrounding islets
Greece Thasos island and Xironisi islet
Greece Mount Peristeri
Greece Nisyros island and surrounding islets
Greece Mounts Agia Dynati and Kokkini Rachi, Kefalonia
Greece Kythira island
Greece Ikaria island
Greece Amorgos island
Greece Patmos island and surrounding islets
Greece Echinades, Kalamos and Atokos islands
Greece Islands and islets of northern Dodecanese
Greece Kalymnos, Telendos, Kalolimnos islands and surrounding islets
Greece Agrafa mountains
Greece Mount Kyllini (Ziria)
Greece Mount Chelmos (Aroania)
Greece Mount Erymanthos
Greece Mount Ymittos
Greece Agios Efstratios island
Greece Southwestern Lesvos and Petrified forest
Greece Mount Olympos and pine forest of central Lesvos
Greece Mount Lepetymnos, Lesvos, and surrounding marine area
Greece Gera gulf, Ntipi and Charamida marshes, Lesvos
Greece Paros and Antiparos islands and surrounding islets
Greece Valtou mountains
Greece Symi island and surrounding islets
Greece Serifos island
Greece Psara and Antipsara islands and surrounding islets
Greece Thessaly plain
Greece Samothraki island
Greece South forest complex of Evros prefecture
Greece Western, eastern and southern Rhodes
Greece Northeastern peninsula of Crete
Greece Gavdos and Gavdopoula islands, Crete
Hungary Bükk
Russia (European) Buzulukski forest
Russia (European) Budnyanski mire
Russia (European) Kaluzhskiye Zaseki Nature Reserve
Russia (European) Watershed of Bel'skaya and Nugush rivers
Russia (European) Maly Nakas ridge
Russia (European) Irendyk ridge
Russia (European) Dedinovo flood-plain of Oka river
Spain Cortados del Jarama
Spain Cogul-Alfés steppes
Spain Albufera de Mallorca and Albufereta de Pollença marshes
Spain Coastal cliffs between Cape Enderrocat and Cala Pí
Spain Ravines and pinewoods in central Minorca
Spain Llobregat delta
Ukraine Cape Martiyan
Ukraine Dniprovs'ko-Oril's'kyj Nature Reserve
Ukraine Velykomykhailivskyj forest
Ukraine Samars'kyj forest
Ukraine Mokri Yasli forestry plantation
France Planèze de Saint-Flour
France Les Couzes Nord
France Les Couzes Sud
France Arrière Côte de Dijon et de Beaune
France Golfe de Porto, presqu'île de Scandola et golfe de Galeria
France Vallée du Régino
France Etangs Montpellierains
France Parc National des Cévennes
France Camargue
France Crau
France Chaîne des Alpilles
France Montagne Sainte-Victoire
France Iles d'Hyères
France Plateau de Valensole
France Plaine des Maures
France Basse Vallée de la Durance
France Parc National du Mercantour
France Préalpes de Grasse
France Parc National des Ecrins
France Vallée de la Charente : amont d'Angoulême
France Plaine de Niort (sud-est)
France Plaine de Niort (nord-ouest)
France Le Pinail, Forêt de Moulière et bois du Défens
France Plaine de Villefagnan
France Baie de Bourgneuf et marais breton
France Plaine calcaire du sud Vendée
France Marais poitevin et baie de l'Aiguillon
France Val de Saône
France Val de Drôme: Les Ramières-printegarde
Italy Maritime Alps
Italy Adamello-Brenta
Italy Lagorai mountains
Italy Taro river
Italy Ortazzo and Ortazzino
Italy Palude e Tombolo di Bolgheri
Italy Laga mountains
Italy Cicolano
Italy Mount Cervati
Italy Sila Grande
Italy Lake Bolsena
Italy Middle course of River Brenta
Italy Mount Grappa
Italy Magredi of Pordenone
Italy Finalese
Georgia Eastern Caucasus
Georgia Iori Region
Georgia Meskheti
Serbia Cer mountain
Serbia Valjevske mountains
Serbia Tara mountain
Serbia Uvac-Milesevka
Serbia Kopaonik
Serbia Prokletije
Slovakia Poiplie
Serbia Sara mountain
Serbia Jerma
Serbia Suva mountain
Serbia Stara mountains
Serbia Sicevo gorge
Serbia Derdap gorge
Armenia Khosrov Reserve
Austria Surroundings of Mattersburg
Austria March/Thaya riverine forest
Austria Unterlammer hill country
Austria South-east Styrian hill country
Austria Delta of the Rhine
Austria Feuchte Ebene and Rauchwarther Platte
Germany Northern Steigerwald
Jordan Dana
Russia (European) Uryuk
Russia (European) Mountain valley of Zilim river
Russia (European) Kayakentski reserve
Russia (European) Laman-Kam area
Russia (European) Andreyaul'ski reserve
Belarus Liebiadziny Moch
Russia (European) Leninsk forest area
Russia (Central Asian) Tobol pine forests near Proryvnoye village
Russia (Central Asian) Busly lake
Russia (Central Asian) Biyskiye pine forests
Russia (Central Asian) Valley of the Berd' river
Russia (Central Asian) Kuznetsky Alatau Zapovednik
Bulgaria Kaliakra
Bulgaria Vrachanski Balkan
Bulgaria Sredna Gora
Bulgaria Rila
Bulgaria Sinite Kamani-Grebenets
Bulgaria Kamenski Bair
Bulgaria Galata
Bulgaria Ludogorie
Bulgaria Western Rhodopes
Bulgaria Western Strandzha
Bulgaria Karlukovski Karst
Bulgaria Arda Bridge
Bulgaria Melnik Pyramids
Bulgaria Dobrostan
Bulgaria Bakarlaka
Bulgaria Batova
Bulgaria Slavyanka Mountain
Bulgaria Osogovo Mountain
Bulgaria Vitosha Mountain
Bulgaria Trigrad-Mursalitsa
Bulgaria Palakaria
Bulgaria Zlato Pole
Bulgaria Maritsa-Parvomay
Bulgaria Adata-Tundzha
Bulgaria Vasilyovska Mountain
Bulgaria Devetashko Plateau
Bulgaria Ruy Mountain
Bulgaria Zemen Gordge
Bulgaria Belasitza mountain
Bulgaria Ivailovgrad Reservoir
Armenia Haghartsin
Kazakhstan Chokpak Pass
Russia (European) Flood-plain of Oka river in Vachski district of North Novgorod region and adjacent areas of Vladimir region
Russia (European) Floodplain of Oka river up-stream of the Murom
Russia (European) Forest-steppe Gyul'chachak (Peony forest-steppe)
Russia (European) Dono-Donetskoye flood-plain
Austria Riede in the northern Rhein valley
Kazakhstan Ereymentau Mountains
Slovenia Kozjansko - Jovsi
Slovenia Snežnik plateau and Pivka valley
Slovenia Banjšice plateau
Kazakhstan Zhagalbayly and Tuyemoynak Hills
Kazakhstan Eastern Kazakhstan uplands
Italy Rhaetian Alps
Ukraine Krasnopols'kyj Forest
Ukraine Komisarovskyj Forest
Ukraine Ratsynska Dacha Zakaznik
Ukraine Serednyotomakivske reservior
North Macedonia Pelagonia
Russia (European) Tul'skiye Zaseki forest
Russia (European) Rychkovskaya forest-steppe
Russia (European) Prisyun'ski forest
Russia (European) Buninski forest
Russia (European) Vedeneevsk pine forest
Bosnia and Herzegovina Livno karst field and Busko lake
Slovenia Kozjansko
Kazakhstan Russkiy Zharkol
Russia (Central Asian) Suzunsky pine forest

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Terrestrial Arable Land suitable non-breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Pastureland suitable resident
Artificial/Terrestrial Plantations suitable resident
Artificial/Terrestrial Rural Gardens suitable resident
Artificial/Terrestrial Urban Areas suitable resident
Forest Boreal suitable breeding
Forest Temperate suitable resident
Grassland Subtropical/Tropical Dry suitable non-breeding
Grassland Temperate suitable resident
Savanna Dry suitable non-breeding
Shrubland Mediterranean-type Shrubby Vegetation suitable resident
Shrubland Subtropical/Tropical Dry suitable non-breeding
Shrubland Temperate suitable resident
Altitude 0 - 2000 m Occasional altitudinal limits (max) 3000 m

Threats & impact
Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Agriculture & aquaculture Annual & perennial non-timber crops - Agro-industry farming Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals - Intentional use (species is the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Unknown Unknown
Species mortality
Biological resource use Logging & wood harvesting - Unintentional effects: (large scale) [harvest] Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Ecosystem degradation
Energy production & mining Renewable energy Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Unknown Unknown
Species mortality
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Problematic species/disease of unknown origin - Strix aluco Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 5
Species mortality
Natural system modifications Other ecosystem modifications Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Ecosystem degradation
Pollution Agricultural & forestry effluents - Herbicides and pesticides Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Indirect ecosystem effects
Residential & commercial development Housing & urban areas Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Ecosystem conversion
Transportation & service corridors Roads & railroads Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Unknown Unknown
Species mortality
Transportation & service corridors Utility & service lines Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Unknown Unknown
Species mortality

Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Pets/display animals, horticulture - - International Non-trivial Recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Otus scops. Downloaded from on 06/07/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 06/07/2022.