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Giant Scops Owl - Mimizuku gurneyi

Also known as Lesser Eagle Owl, Mindanao Owl

Calls - Mimizuku gurneyi
Typical Call Mindanao, Philippines. April 2010 CC George Wagner

Introduction: The Giant Scops Owl is a relatively large brown owl with long, slightly curved ear-tufts. It was formerly placed in the genus Otus, and originally described as Pseudoptynx gurneyi.

[For help with terms used in the description, see parts of an owl. For general characteristics common to most owl species, see owl physiology.]

Description: The facial disc is pale rufous-brown, with a thin rim consisting of black spots. The eyebrows are frosty white, fading into buffish. Eyes are brown, and the bill is greenish-yellow to greyish-white. Ear-tufts are long with black spots. The forehead and crown are streaked black.
Upperparts are dark rufous-brown with blackish shaft-streaks. The outer webs of the scapulars are whitish-buff with blackish edges. The wing-coverts are dark brown with black shaft-streaks. The flight and tail feathers are banded dark and light.
Underparts are whitish-buff, becoming creamy-white on the belly. The breast has large oval or drop-shaped black spots.
Tarsi are feathered to the base of the toes, which are pale greyish-brown. Claws are pale horn with dark tips.

Size: Length 30-35cm. Wing length 217-274mm. Tail length 114-149mm. No weight data available. Females are larger than males.

Habits: The Giant Scops Owl is a nocturnal bird. Little else is known about its behaviour.

Voice: A coarse mournful "Wuaah" note repeated at 10-20 second intervals.

Hunting & Food: Probably feeds on small mammals and birds, as well as large insects.

Breeding: Virtually nothing is known of this owl's breeding biology. They are known to be more vocally active from February to May.

Habitat: Lowland rainforest and secondary growth, from sea-level to about 1500m. Has also been found in small groves in grassland.

Distribution: Southern Philippines - Mindanao, Siargao and Dinagat.

Distribution of Giant Scops Owl - Mimizuku gurneyi
Distribution of the Giant Scops Owl Mimizuku gurneyi

Status: Rare and endangered.

Original Description: Tweeddale, Arthur Hay, 9th, Marquis of. 1879. Proceedings of the Scientific meetings of the Zoological Society of London for the year 1878 (PZS): Pt 4, p 940, pl. 58.


Boyer and Hume. 1991. "Owls of the World". BookSales Inc
del Hoyo, Elliott & Sargatal. 1999. "Handbook of the Birds of the World: Barn Owls to Hummingbirds". Buteo Books
Duncan, James R. 2003. "Owls of the World: Their Lives, Behavior and Survival". Firefly Books
König, Claus & Weick, Friedhelm. 2008. "Owls: A Guide to the Owls of the World (Second Edition)". Yale University Press
Mikkola, Heimo. 2012. "Owls of the World: A Photographic Guide". Bloomsbury

Page Information:

Page compiled by . Page last updated 2013-07-17 Owl Species ID: 080.010.000

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