Scops Owl, Lesvos

18th May 2015
One of the most common owls on Lesvos is the Scops Owl, this diminutive owl is widespread throughout towns and villages and can be heard uttering its recognizable call every night. These owls tend to roost in Eucalyptus groves and with some effort can be located, usually asleep on a branch, tight up against a tree trunk.
Early one morning at a well-known site, we were looking without much success and were thinking of moving on and trying later, especially as a mechanical digger had just started up nearby. What happened next was most amusing because as the man operating the digger put the machine into reverse gear the warning ‘ Beeper’ started to sound. It is well documented that Scops Owls are renowned for having a call like the ‘Speaking Clock’ on the telephone and they often respond to similar sounds.
Almost immediately an owl started calling in reply to this ‘Beeper’ and what I initially thought would be a hindrance now became a help. Much to my surprise the Scops Owl was in the tree right above us and after a few seconds we could now see it staring at us.

As we drove away I silently thanked the man driving the digger.
What s special little bird they are.