Cooling Marshes, Kent, 7th December 2014

Saturday, 27 June 2015


A Scops Owl calling along a forest road during a nocturnal survey last night:

It's not often I have them so close. I had no other means of recording it other than my camera. Riveting footage, yes?

But is it one owl or two?

Cyprus Scops owls have a two-note call so although it sounds like two birds a lot of the time, it's likely to be just the one. It sounds like they're answering themselves. The new Sound Approach book on owls (which is great, as ever) describes the cyprius Scops Owl call, specifically the second 'answering' call or 'bip' being "the rule and very audible" as opposed to it occurring in other scops owl sub-species at 'low incidence' or only being heard quietly or at close range.

So in this audio example, the single bird is easy to record accurately but when there are six or more calling at the same time with the double note, like in Pafos Forest recently, it gets interesting!

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