Moluccan Scops-Owl Otus magicus Scientific name definitions

Guy M. Kirwan, Denver W. Holt, Josep del Hoyo, Nigel Collar, Regan Berkley, Caroline Deppe, Paula L. Enríquez, Julie L. Petersen, José Luis Rangel Salazar, Kelley P. Segars, and Kristin L. Wood
Version: 2.0 — Published March 5, 2022


Field Identification

A small scops-owl that is extremely variable (generally considered to be polymorphic), but always has medium-sized ear-tufts and vivid yellow eyes.

Similar Species

This species is the only scops-owl throughout most of its range. In Nusa Tengarra (the Lesser Sundas), it overlaps with Wallace's Scops-Owl (Otus silvicola), but the latter is much larger, and has darker, buffier underparts (especially the belly and flanks), although the voice is the simplest and most reliable character for identification. The Moluccan Scops-Owl differs from all forms of the Sulawesi Scops-Owl (Otus manadensis) in being larger with more barred tertials and tail, and produces a different song (see Vocalizations).

Recommended Citation

Kirwan, G. M., D. W. Holt, J. del Hoyo, N. Collar, R. Berkley, C. Deppe, P. L. Enríquez, J. L. Petersen, J. L. Rangel Salazar, K. P. Segars, and K. L. Wood (2022). Moluccan Scops-Owl (Otus magicus), version 2.0. In Birds of the World (B. K. Keeney and P. N. Maleko, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.mosowl1.02