email a friend
printable version
Common Scops-owl Otus scops

IUCN Red List history

Year Category
2012 Least Concern
2009 Least Concern
2008 Least Concern
2004 Least Concern
2000 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1994 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1988 Not Recognised

Species attributes

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


  Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 8,550,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 8,810,000 medium
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 1000000-3000000 poor Estimated 2009
Population trend Decreasing -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 3.7 - - -
Population justification: In Europe, the breeding population is estimated to number 210000-440000 breeding pairs, equating to 630000-1320000 individuals (BirdLife International 2004). Europe forms 50-74% of the global range, so a very preliminary estimate of the global population size is 51000-2640000 individuals, although further validation of this estimate is needed.1000000-3000000 individuals, although further validation of this estimate is needed.
Trend justification: The population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction.

Country/Territory distribution

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

Important Bird Areas where this species has triggered the IBA criteria

Country/Territory IBA Name IBA link
Armenia Khosrov Reserve site factsheet
Austria Surroundings of Mattersburg site factsheet
Austria Unterlammer hill country site factsheet
Bosnia and Herzegovina Livno karst field and Busko lake site factsheet
Bulgaria Arda Bridge site factsheet
Bulgaria Byala Reka site factsheet
Bulgaria Dobrostan site factsheet
Bulgaria Kamchiyska Mountain site factsheet
Bulgaria Vitosha Mountain site factsheet
Cyprus Akamas and Agia Aikaterini – Agia Paraskevi Gorges site factsheet
Cyprus Karpasia Peninsula - Kleides Islands site factsheet
Cyprus Mahairas Forest – Tzionia site factsheet
Cyprus Pafos Forest site factsheet
Cyprus Pentadaktylos Mountains site factsheet
France Chaîne des Alpilles site factsheet
France Iles d'Hyères site factsheet
France Plaine des Maures site factsheet
France Plateau de Valensole site factsheet
France Vallée du Régino site factsheet
Greece Central Rodos and the areas of Lindos, Mesanagros and Katavia-Prassonisi site factsheet
Greece Thessaly plain site factsheet
Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Pelagonia site factsheet
Russia (European) Buzulukski forest site factsheet
Russia (European) Forest-steppe Gyul'chachak (Peony forest-steppe) site factsheet
Russia (European) Mountain valley of Zilim river site factsheet
Russia (European) Tul'skiye Zaseki Nature Reserve site factsheet
Russia (European) Uryuk site factsheet
Russia (European) Vedeneevsk pine forest site factsheet
Serbia Fruska Gora site factsheet
Serbia Kopaonik site factsheet
Serbia Prokletije site factsheet
Serbia Resava gorge site factsheet
Serbia Suva mountain site factsheet
Serbia Tara mountain site factsheet
Serbia Uvac-Milesevka site factsheet
Serbia Valjevske mountains site factsheet
Slovenia Goričko site factsheet
Slovenia Karst site factsheet
Slovenia Kozjansko site factsheet
Slovenia Ljubljansko moor site factsheet
Slovenia Snežnik plateau and Pivka valley site factsheet

Habitats & altitude

Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Terrestrial Arable Land suitable non-breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Pastureland suitable breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Pastureland suitable non-breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Plantations suitable breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Plantations suitable non-breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Rural Gardens suitable breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Rural Gardens suitable non-breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Urban Areas suitable breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Urban Areas suitable non-breeding
Forest Boreal suitable breeding
Forest Boreal suitable non-breeding
Forest Temperate suitable breeding
Forest Temperate suitable non-breeding
Shrubland Mediterranean-type Shrubby Vegetation suitable breeding
Shrubland Mediterranean-type Shrubby Vegetation suitable non-breeding
Altitude 0 - 3000 m Occasional altitudinal limits  


Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Pets Whole Adults and juveniles Wild International Non-trivial Recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Otus scops. Downloaded from on 13/07/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 13/07/2014.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Least Concern
Family Strigidae (Owls)
Species name author (Linnaeus, 1758)
Population size 1000000-3000000 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 8,550,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species