Eurasian scops owl– Otus scops
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Class: Aves
- Order: Strigiformes
- Family: Strigidae
- Genre: Otus
- Species: Otus scops
Eurasian scops owl (Otus scops) is a species of small night-owl. For Romania’s fauna, the thrasher is the only species of migrating night-owl. It is smaller than the cuckoo, with a body length of 19 – 21 cm and a wing span of 47 – 54 cm.
It weighs 60 – 135 grams. The sexes are similar. The head and back are brown with white spots. On the belly, the colour is lighter, with dark streaks and vermicules arranged vertically, mimicking the pattern of tree bark. On the head there are two tufts, more conspicuous in the alert state, when the tuft adopts the elongated camouflage posture, but less visible in the resting bird. The eyes are yellow.
The genus name, otus, is the Latinised form of the Greek word otos, which means ⹂eared⹂or even a small owl with tufts. The specific epithet, skops is the name of a small night bird, but the word skopos in ancient Greek also has the meaning of one who watches watching carefully, like a watchman, the owls having eyes very well adapted for seeing in dim light, to spot prey easily, as indeed do all night birds of prey.
At night, being more difficult to see, the thrasher can be spotted by the rhythmic whistling that can be heard in the distance.