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This species is listed as Endangered because it has a very small range and correspondingly small population, both of which are undergoing a decline owing to habitat loss and degradation.
del Hoyo, J.; Collar, N. J.; Christie, D. A.; Elliott, A.; Fishpool, L. D. C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International.
Described as new to science by Warakagoda and Rasmussen (2004).
16.5 cm. A small, short-tailed scops-owl, lacking true ear-tufts. Quite uniformly rufescent, paler below, with small dark markings all over. Central belly and undertail coverts paler and unspotted. Weakly defined facial disk, and yellow to orange irides with a black outer ring. Iris more yellow in female. Tarsi feathered for less than half their length. Similar spp. In range, only the rufous morph of the Sri Lankan race of Oriental Scops-owl Otus sunia leggei, which is slightly larger, and has obvious ear-tufts, tarsi feathered to base of toes, and obvious whitish spots on scapulars. Voice Female gives a short, piping, tremulous pU'U'u, rising and falling in pitch. Male gives a lower pitched, shorter, less tremulous version. Vocalisations most common in the hours just after dusk and just before dawn.
Related state of the world's birds case studies
Warakagoda, D. 2006. Sri Lanka's Serendip Scops Owl. BirdingASIA 6: 68-71.
Warakagoda, D. H.; Rasmussen, P. C. 2004. A new species of scops-owl from Sri Lanka. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club 124: 85-105.
Further web sources of information
Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species
Text account compilers
Bird, J., Pilgrim, J. & Taylor, J.
Kaluthota, C., Sirivardana, U. & de Silva Wijeyeratne, G.
IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Otus thilohoffmanni. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 27/07/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 27/07/2016.
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.
Additional resources for this species
|Current IUCN Red List category||Endangered|
|Family||Strigidae (Typical Owls)|
|Species name author||Warakagoda & Rasmussen, 2004|
|Population size||150-700 mature individuals|
|Distribution size (breeding/resident)||240 km2|
|Links to further information|
|- Additional Information on this species|