John T. Willis

Monday, July 19, 2010

Scops-Owls

There are now 45 living species of scops-owls worldwide, and experts are discovering new species every few years, especially in Indonesia. The only North American species is the Flammulated Owl.

Usually the female is larger than the male. Both sexes are compact in size and shape. All are small and agile. They come in different colors in various brownish hues, sometimes with a lighter underside and face, which aids in camouflaging the birds against the bark of trees. Some are polymorphic, occurring in a greyish and a reddish-brown morph.

Scops-owls perch in semi-open landscape to hunt their prey, which include insects, reptiles, small mammals such as bats, mice, and other birds, earthworms, amphibians, and aquatic invertebrates.

Scops-owls have a good sense of hearing, which helps them locate their prey in any habitat. They have well-developed raptorial claws and a curved bill, both of which they use to tear their prey pieces small enough to swallow easily.

Most scops-owls are solitary. They lay and incubate their eggs in a cavity nest originally made by another animal. The male feeds the female during the incubation period. The scops-owls are monogamous, with biparental care, and only fledge one young each year. Unlike screech-owls, scops-owls have only one type of call: a series of whistles or high-pitched hoots, give with a frequency of four calls per second or less, or of a single, drawn-out whistle. Calls differ widely between species in type and pitch.

I hope YOU enjoy and appreciate owls. There are many different kinds of owls. The owl featured in the Harry Potter stories. Owls are created by God. I hope YOU love and worship the God of all creatures. Share YOUR thoughts with others. Let me hear from YOU.

John Willis

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