17 Amaze-wing Facts About The Giant Scops Owl For Kids

Giant scops owl facts such as these bird species are endemic to the Philippines.

The giant scops owl (Otus gurneyi/Mimizuku gurneyi) is a species of scops owl in the family Strigidae. You must be wondering about the two scientific names of the species. The giant scops owl was first described as Pseudoptynx gurneyi, which was later changed to Mimizuku gurneyi. However, after many surveys and research, the species was found to be a part of the genus and was given the scientific name Otus gurneyi. However, many people still know the species as Mimizuku gurneyi. The species endemic to the islands of Dinagat, Mindanao, and Siargao in the Philippines is known by many names such as the lesser eagle-owl or the Mindanao eagle-owl. The size and structure of the bird is a cross between the scops owl and the eagle-owl. All owls are part of the order Strigiformes.

The lesser eagle-owl is found in the primary and secondary forest habitats. Although the range is quite large for the species, it is affected by habitat loss quite a bit and is on the verge of losing more population in the natural wildlife. The distribution has also become scarce in recent times.

The identification of the lesser eagle-owl can be done by the pale rufous-brown facial disc, black spots on the thin rim, greenish-yellow to the grayish-white bill, long ear tufts with black spots, black streaks on the forehead, and black streaks on the crown.

For more relatable content, check out these Indian scops owl facts and Eurasian scops owl interesting facts.

Giant Scops Owl

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Small vertebrates and insects

What do they eat?


Average litter size?

1-3 eggs

How much do they weigh?


How long are they?

11.02-12.6 in (28-32 cm)

How tall are they?

Wing length- up to 24 in (61 cm)

What do they look like?

Reddish-brown facial disc, reddish-brown upperparts, white underparts

Skin Type


What are their main threats?

Habitat loss

What is their conservation status?


Where you'll find them

Primary and secondary forests, subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests


Islands of Dinagat, Mindanao, Siargao in the Philippines





Scientific Name

Otus gurneyi/Mimizuku gurneyi





Giant Scops Owl Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a giant scops owl?

Giant scops owl is a species of owl endemic to the Philippines.

What class of animal does a giant scops owl belong to?

The giant scops owl (Otus gurneyi) belongs to the genus Otus of the family Strigidae in the order Strigiformes. This is under the class of Aves in the kingdom of Animalia.

How many giant scops owls are there in the world?

The population of the Mindanao eagle-owl has a range between 2500-9999 and decreasing. The birds of the genus Otus are distributed across an area of 97683.8 sq mi (253,000 sq km).

Where does a giant scops owl live?

The giant scops owl (Otus gurneyi/Mimizuku gurneyi) is endemic to the islands of Dinagat, Siargao, and Mindanao in the Philippines. This is the reason to name the bird, Mindanao eagle-owl.

What is a giant cops owl's habitat?

The lesser eagle-owl/giant scops owl range of habitat includes primary and secondary forests. The distribution includes lowland rainforest and secondary growth habitats along with small groves in grasslands. The birds are sometimes also found in logged dipterocarp forests. The birds are seen up to 4921 ft (1500 m).

Who do giant scops owls live with?

The information on the company the giant scops owl (Otus gurneyi/Mimizuku gurneyi) keep is not known. Owls usually are solitary birds.

How long does a giant scops owl live?

The lifespan of the giant scops owl/Mindanao eagle-owl is not known. The Eurasian scops owl live for an age up to 12 years.

How do they reproduce?

There is not much information on the breeding techniques of the Mindanao eagle-owl. No nest of the giant scops owl (Otus gurneyi/Mimizuku gurneyi) has been found to date. However, the bird is known to be more active vocally from February to May, so it probably can be the breeding season. They might have one to three eggs in a season.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of the giant scops owl (Otus gurneyi/Mimizuku gurneyi) is categorized as Vulnerable by the IUCN Red List. Habitat loss has been the main cause of concern for the giant scops owl. Philippines habitats are degrading for the species and the distribution of the population is decreasing quite rapidly now in the region. As an example, The forest in Mindanao has reduced by 29%.

Giant Scops Owl Fun Facts

What do giant scops owls look like?

The giant scops owl (Otus gurneyi/Mimizuku gurneyi) is a medium-sized bird with a reddish-brown facial disc and a narrow black edge in the mask. There are white streaks above the eyes. Prominent ear tufts can be noticed. The Mindanao eagle-owl has reddish-brown upperparts and is the same color as seen on the back of the head. The upperparts are seen with black streaks with a line of white streaks on the scapular. There are traces of the reddish-brown coloration on the underparts of the bird but is mostly whitish in color with bold black colored markings. The wings have dark brown to black feathers. The tail and the flight feathers are banded with dark and light coloration. The female giant scops owl size is a little bigger than the male species.

The juvenile giant scops owl is a reddish-brown colored bird with a white belly, prominent ear tufts, and dark brown to black feathers.

How cute are they?

Owls are not usually considered cute.

How do they communicate?

Owls communicate using vocal cues.

How big is a giant scops owl?

The giant scops owl (Otus gurneyi/Mimizuku gurneyi) has a body length of 11.02-12.6 in (28-32 cm). The wing length of the bird is up to 24 in (61 cm) and the tail length is around 4.3-5.9 in (11-15 cm). The great grey owl of Russia and North America is around 24-33 in (61-83.8 cm) long.

How fast can a giant scops owl fly?

Some species of owls are known to fly at a speed of 40 mph (64.3 kph), however, the same might not be the case for the giant scops owl. Information on the speed of these birds is not available.

How much does a giant scops owl weigh?

The giant scops owl (Otus gurneyi/Mimizuku gurneyi) weight is not known.

What are the male and female names of the species?

The males and females of the giant scops owl (Otus gurneyi/Mimizuku gurneyi) are not known.

What would you call a baby giant scops owl?

Babies are called chicks, juveniles, young, or commonly owlets.

What do they eat?

The giant scops owl (Otus gurneyi) feed mostly on small vertebrates and large insects. Generally, owls are known to feed on different invertebrates like insects, spiders, snails, earthworms, and crabs, fishes, reptiles, birds, and small mammals.

Are they dangerous?

They are not considered dangerous.

Would they make a good pet?

They are not usually considered pets. The distribution in the subtropical and tropical moist lowland forest areas of Dinagat, Siargao, and Mindanao islands is already declining and the owls should be left alone in the habitat now, to grow and flourish.

Did you know...

The giant scops owl (Otus gurneyi/Mimizuku gurneyi) is Vulnerable currently, but the alarming decline in the numbers can soon lead to endangerment of the species.

Size comparison with other scops owls

The Javan scops owls are 6.3-7.08 in (16-18 cm) long. The Anjouan scops owls have a length up to 5.9 in (15 cm). The oriental scops owls length has a range of 6.7-8.2 in (17-20.8 cm). There are 57 other species of scops owls. And as the name suggests, the giant scops owls are one of the biggest species of owls with a length of 11.02-12.6 in (28-32 cm).

Are the collared scops owl and the giant scops owl the same species?

No, they are not the same. The collared scops owl (Otus lettia) and the giant scops owl belong to the same genus Otus, however, the former is a resident breeder in south Asia in India and Pakistan. The Mindanao eagle-owl is only found in the Philippines. The collared scops owl is smaller too with a size of 9-9.8 in (22.8–24.8 cm).

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these tawny owl facts and short-eared owl facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable owl coloring pages.



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