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RANGE: Central Europe and the Mediterranean

STATUS: The Eurasian Scops owl is considered Rare in Central Europe, Common in the Mediterranean, and Seriously Threatened in Ukraine. It is listed by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species as Appendix III (Endangered) in Tunisia.

THREATS: Unknown

Even with its crisply mottled plumage and distinct cowl, the Eurasian Scops owl blends in with the tree canopy of the woodlands, orchards, juniper scrub, and riverine forests where it makes its home. It’s found throughout a geographically large range in Central Europe and the Mediterranean (documented sightings come from France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Austria, Hungary, southwestern Russia, Mediterranean Islands, northern Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia), and winters in Africa — Mali, Ethiopia, and Uganda. The world population is estimated at 150,000 to 180,000 birds, but there is evidence of a global population decline.

Photo by Josep Roca