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African Scops Owl

African Scops Owl
Photo Information
Copyright: Anna Eksteen (Miss_Piggy) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2285 W: 5 N: 5300] (18714)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-10-19
Categories: Birds
Camera: Sony Cybershot DSC H9, Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar 15x Optical zoom, Digital ISO 250
Exposure: f/4.5, 1/125 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Travelogue: Kruger NP 2009
Theme(s): Owls all over the world [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2010-06-27 11:19
Viewed: 4301
Points: 71
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
African Scops Owl / Otus senegalensis

The Scops Owl is the 22nd in the series of the birds of the Kruger National Park, which I am currently sharing. Enjoy!

I took this photo in the Satara camp near the reception area. Since I can remember this owl has been there in the vicinity around the reception and shop entrance area and you will always find lots of tourists flashing away photographing it. It is not often one find the opportunity to snap away from relative close up at an owl just sitting perfectly still and calm and therefore I also took my chances at the opportunity and captured this lovely little owl. James Parker also posted this very same owl as a dedication to me some time ago.

Small grey, nocturnal Owl with grey (not white) face, surrounded by black edging, and large prominent ear-tufts (sometimes not visible) and black rimmed facial disc. Their eyes are yellow (not orange). Their ear openings are among the largest amongst the owl families. Their size is between 19-24cm.

Like other small owls, it is generally insectivorous, although they may take small birds, rodents and other small mammals. They hunt from an open perch and drop down on prey.

Their breeding season varies greatly. In Zimbabwe, it is August to November, further South, between July and February. They often nest in abandoned nests of other birds, from pigeons to eagles. They will also use tree hollows and have also been known to use ground nest sites.

2-4 Shiny, white eggs are laid at intervals, incubation beginning immediately. From the day of lying, incubation takes about 30 days. Chicks move out onto nearby branches by about 4 weeks, and begin to fly a few days later.

Scrub and bush, woodland with sparse ground cover. Acacia forests and savannas. Resident throughout most of Africa south of the Sahara.

When these birds are disturbed during the day, the can elongate their bodies and lean sideways, which will help them resemble the branches on which they roost.

The genus Otus can largely be divided into two types of owls, the Screech Owls of the New World, and the Scops of the Old World. There are about 40 different owls in the group spread right across the globe. Most of the Otus owls are inhabitants of tropical regions.

I hope you enjoy looking at this photo as much as I took pleasure in taking it.

Hormon_Manyer, oscarromulus, horias, marius-secan, Dis. Ac., cirano, Sascha-Steinau, siggi, Amelia, Alex99, vanda, marhowie, sandpiper2, uleko, lovenature, Mikolaj, pierrefonds, boreocypriensis has marked this note useful
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To sandpiper2: Kruger ParkMiss_Piggy 1 07-05 02:39
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2010-06-27 11:24]

Hello Anna,
Yes, I'm surely enjoy this photo of the Scops Owl. The details in the feathers are superb. Very cute pose with one open eye. Beautiful natural colours. Nice frontal POV.

Ciao Anna, my today neighbour, great portrait of beautiful owlwith fantastic details, splendid sharpness, wonderful natural colors, very well done my friend, ciao Silvio

Hello Anna,
Wonderful image of the Scops Owl taken from a good POV with fine details, natural colors and great sharpeness. Well done!

Hi Anna,

Nice photo of the little owl, but a bit more centered composition would have been a better choice in this case (by my opinion), because the main subject's too big, therefore the "rule of thirds" doesn't work here too well - there's too much empty space for me on the right side. A noise reduction procedure with the free software "Neat Image" would have been necessary, too. On the other side: something to learn for me again, because I never heard this species before. Brilliant, personal and in-depth note as always. Tfs.

I hope You don't misunderstand me if I say compared to a lot other photos of You, this one isn't on such a high level. I know Your standard is much higher than this pic shows. So I give the smiley compared to that mentioned very high standard of You, not because this would be a bad photo.

Respectful regards, László

Hope you are all ENJOYING the FIFA Games.
Absolutely SUPERB!!!
Outstanding notes too.
Regards from Mario in Calgary.

  • Great 
  • horias Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 837 W: 58 N: 2084] (11033)
  • [2010-06-27 12:11]

Hi Anna
What a great shot of this lovely African Scops Owl!!!
Great details! I like it!

Hallo Anna,
this owl looks very sleepy ;-)
Soooo tired ...
Lovely moment - she seems to say: hey Anna, why do you disturb me while I'm sleeping and dreaming so sweet ?!?
So you see, your shot makes me creative and it is full of atmosphere, thanks.
Have a good start into the new week
Sabine - wishnugaruda

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2010-06-27 12:51]

Hi my Purple Lady,you was lucky whit this strange and curious eyes position,maybe isn't the best in a owl pic but is different from usual and i like a lot it.You work at the best in this difficult light,good sharpness and colors and nice composition too.Thanks for share,have a nice week,Luciano

Hello Anna,
Great capture. Nice colours, details and focus.
Interesting image with one eye open.

Hello Anna,

nice view on this one eye open owl.
good pov and details, maybe left a litte more space.
Fine natural colours.


  • Great 
  • cirano Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 997 W: 0 N: 944] (13609)
  • [2010-06-27 15:11]

Hello Anna,
Great photo in excellent sharp details and nice natural colors.TFS.

Hello Anna,

What a great shot of that Owl!
The nice natural colours and the sharpness on that picture are perfect.
I think the boy is winking at you ;O)


Hi Anna,

superb closeup of this owl. Very nice details on it. Nice pose as well. Superb sharpness and DoF. I liked your composition.


I have also snapped this owl at Satara but I must say, yours looks better than mine. Must be the most photographed owl in Kruger Park! Great photo, true colors, sharp, perfect. Well done.

Hallo Anna,
a splendid capture of the African Scops Owl taken from an excellent POV in a funny posture, very good sharpness and very beautiful colours.
Best regards

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2010-06-28 7:11]

Hello Anna,
such a near close up. The texture of the feathers is so special and it looks like a tree bark to me. so it would make a good camouflage I guess.
The sharpness is excellent but the most striking aspect is this bird is winking.
A nice moment well captured in a very special scenery.


Hola Anna

Una preciosa imagen de este autillo, parece que esta hecho de madera del arbol, y encima te esta guińando el ojo. Una fantastico imagen.

Un saludo de Antonio

Hello Anna
this African Scops Owl seems very tired, she have opening only one eye for see was happened around her and for looking at you,
it's a great capture with fein sharp details and nice green BG
Have a good night

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2010-06-28 23:52]

Hello Anna,
That is a wonderful shot! Excellent detail, great colors and a very nice pose of the owl. Excellent work.Best regards Siggi

Good morning Anna,

The details on the feathers on this little owl are amazing, and although it may seem strange, to me they resemble the bark of mature silver birch trees that are very common in Norway! I have read your excellent note with interest, and wonder if the nature of the plumage is also a form of concealment.

He looks very sleepy, but evidently has woken up enough to wink at you :))

Warm greetings, Amelia

A pesar de las condiciones de disparo desfavorables ( distancia y luz ), conseguiste una toma llena de realismo, además captada con oportunidad. Ella te está felicitando ;-)

Un abrazo Anna.

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2010-06-30 3:41]

Hello Anna,
A fine close portrait of the African Scops Owl taken from a fine frontal POV with excellent sharp details of the plumage against a pleasing green natural BG.
Nice to see this one giving you the wink! Scops owls often check for intruders by opening one sleepy eye.
Thanks and kind regards,

  • Great 
  • Nilson Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 488 W: 0 N: 566] (4423)
  • [2010-06-30 18:08]

Hello Anna
Wonderful shot wth good and natural colors, the composition is amazing with good elements. This animal is very interesting.
Well done

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2010-07-01 8:41]

Hi Anna.
Only farming of the nice bird is disputable a bit. But to take a shot of this impressive bird is great luck. Detail reproduction, colours of the shot are fine. TFS and best wishes.

  • Great 
  • vanda Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 338 W: 25 N: 754] (3673)
  • [2010-07-02 9:53]

Hi Anna!
Great portrait of this Owl. Its plumage is fantastic!!...it looks like to a bark :))
Fine details and excellent composition.
Have a nice weekend.
Ciao! Vanda

Howzit Anna,
Great pose caught and as you say not an easy subject to capture, which I must add you have done with perfection.Seems to have given you a wink maybe trying to make Loot jealous he he.Nice contrast with the greens in the BG.Its unique designs and colouration has been brought out very well.Great shot well taken.

Hi Anna,
Hey he's winkin' at ya too :)
Good POV and details, well managed exposure with natural color..
Perhaps a bit tight on the comp, but a minor nit.
Excellent info as usual,
Well done & have a nice Sunday!

Ciao Anna. A pleasant expressive portrait for this interesting bird. Even if low light you've obtained good colours. Nice compo.


Hi Anna

A fine shot of this scoops owl, hope he's still there in October!! I think the bird is a little too big for the frame and too close to the left of the frame. But apart from that I like the winking and theh lovely details in the plumage.


  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2010-07-05 9:04]

Hello Anna,
A lovely capture of this African Scops Owl looking very sleepy! I got a very similar shot of the European species while on Lesvos. It was sitting up a tree like this one with one eye closed! Yours is a much better image showing it sharply against the green background. A fine composition too!
Many thanks and best regards, Ulla

Hi Anna
The African Scops Owl is an impressive little owl with defined markings and very cute eyes. Their plumage really does resemble a tree branch. Very nice POV, colour and composition.
TFS and have a great day.

mükemmel bir çalışma,
türü çok beğendim.
çok şirin duruyor.

Hello Anna! Amazing owl, superb scene and scenery, good capture, perfect exposure, nice lightness and colours. Well done!

Hi Anna,

The branches are framing well the bird. The point of of view is showing the details and colors of the African Scops Owl which is blinking. The afternonn light is enhancing the colors. Have a nice day.


Haha:) What a lovely expression on her face Anna:) i love this so much! She seems in semi-sleeping pose. Great focus and DOF control MF!
TFS and have a nice night!


Excellent shot! The closeup of the owl with one eye open looks great! Good background too. Thanks for sharing the image of such a lovely creature.

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