Madagascar Scops-Owl Otus rutilus

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Identification

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Typical scops-owl, with small ear tufts that can be hidden, especially when roosting during the day. Color varies from gray to brown to rufous, with rufous birds more prevalent in the eastern rainforest. Inhabits both moist and dry habitats throughout Madagascar, including rainforest, dry deciduous forest, spiny forest, scrub, and plantations. Often found on day roosts in low tangles. Song varies geographically. In the east, it is a punctuated “tru-tru-tru…”. In the west it is a more rolling “trrr-trrr-trrr…”. Intermediate vocalizations can be heard in transitional zones, such as far northern Madagascar. Much smaller than all of Madagascar’s other owls.

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