Torotoroka Scops Owls

Torotoroka Scops Owl
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The Torotoroka Scops Owls (Otus madagascariensis) occur naturally in forest and wooded habitats along the western and southern coasts of Madagascar (an island off the southeastern coast of Africa).

They are related to the Malagasy or Madagascar Scops-Owls (Otus rutilus) and some authorities lump them together as one species (Fuchs et al., 2007).

They are found in moist and drier forests, tickets, humid bush country and parks - from sea-level up to 6,600 feet (~ 2000 m). They are mostly resident (non-migratory).

They are locally common and their numbers are suspected to be stable.


Description

The Torotoroka Scops Owl is one of the smallest owl species found in Madagascar, measuring between 8.7 - 9.4 inches (22 - 24 cm) in length (including the tail) and weighing about 3.8 oz or 108 g.

They have short, rounded wings and short ear-tufts. The plumage is mostly a mottled brown; darker on the back and lighter below. They have pale-colored eyes (irises).


Owl Eyes / Vision Adaptations


Torotoroka Scops Owl Breeding / Nesting

Most nesting activities have been observed in November and December. The average clutch consists between 2 - 5 eggs. Nesting typically occurs in tree cavities or they may take over abandoned nests, with nests generally being placed about 10 - 26 feet (3 - 8 meters) above the ground. However, in November 2007, nesting on the ground has been recorded for the first time in the Berenty region in southern Madagascar. It is believed that this occurred due to a shortage of suitable cavities in that area.


Diet / Feeding

They mostly feed on insects and small vertebrates.


Alternate (Global) Names

Czech: výreček madagaskarský ... Danish: Torotorokadværghornugle ... Finnish: torotorokanpöllönen ... French: Petit-duc gris, Petit-duc ouest-malgache, Petit-duc torotoroka ... German: Torotoroka-Zwergohreule ... Italian: Assiolo torotoroka ... Norwegian: Torotorokaugle ... Polish: syczek madagaskarski ... Russian: Совка Торотороко ... Slovak: výrik madagaskarský ... Swedish: Västlig madagaskardvärguv


Other Web Resources

Species Research by Sibylle Johnson

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