Scops giu (Scopoli), Ann. i. Hist. Nat. p. 19 (1769) ; Newton, i. p. 173 ; Dresser, v. p. 329, pl. 314 ; Sharpe, Cat. B. Br. Mus. ii. p. 47 ; Blanf. F. Brit. Ind. Birds, iii. p. 291 ; Saunders, p. 307 ; Lilford, i. p. 100, pl. 47 ; S. scops, Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 132 (1766) ; Naum. i. p. 466, Taf. 43, fig. 3 ; S. aldrovandi. Flem. Brit. Anim. p. 57 (1828) ; Gould, B. of E. i. pl. 41 ; Hewitson, i. p. 54, pl. xix. fig. 1 , .S. zorca (Gmel.), Syst. Nat. i. p. 19 (1788) ; Gould. B. of Gt. Brit, i pl. 33.
Le petit Due, French ; Mocho pequeno, Portug. ; Corneja, Span. ; Assiolo, Chiu, Ital. ; Zwerg ohreule, Germ. ; Kanuk, Russ. ; Marouf, Arab and Moorish ; Buf, Persian.
Male ad. (Spain). Upper parts greyish, varied with orange and brownish buff, sparingly striped with black, and finely vermiculated with dark brown ; crown washed with rufous buff and strongly striped with black ; ear-tufts small, greyish white on the inner web ; scapulars marked with white ; wings barred with white and speckled brown : tail light brown, Vermiculated and barred with dark brown and fulvous ; facial disk pale grey, speckled with greyish white and brown ; below the ear-coverts to the sides of the neck a band of blackish feathers ; under parts greyish white, vermiculated with brown, sparingly blotched and striped with blackish brown ; beak black, claws whitish at the base, blackish towards the tip ; iris yellow. Culmen 0.7, wing 5.7, tail 2.75, tarsus 1.0 inch. The female differs only in being rather larger, and the young in being more rufous in colour.
Hab. Central and Southern Europe, rarer in the northern parts of the continent, of occasional occurrence in Great Britain ; North Africa, ranging south to Abyssinia, Sennaar, and Senegambia in the winter ; in Asia as far east as Persia and Turkestan.
Frequents groves and woods where there is abundant under¬growth, and is especially nocturnal in its habits. It feeds chiefly, if not entirely, on insects of various kinds. Its note which is uttered constantly at short intervals during the night is a clear monotonous he-ou.
It breeds in holes in trees, or occasionally in deserted nests, seldom in holes in rocks or walls, its nest being a scanty bed of moss or grass, and in May it deposits 4 to 5, seldom 6, pure white, roundish eggs, smooth in surface of shell, but not glossy, which measure about 1.18 by 1.01.
In Europe this owl is not subject to much or scarcely any variation in plumage except that a rufous form is occasionally met with, but in Asia there are several races, so closely allied that they scarcely constitute subspecies, viz., Scops sunia, Hodgson, from China and Nepal, which is a rufous form much redder than any rufous variety of S. giu from Europe ; Scops pennatus, Blyth, from the Himalayas which is darker than the European bird and has the ear-tufts rufous in part ; S. gymnopodus, Gray, appears to be merely a specimen which had acci¬dentally lost the feathers of the lower tarsus ; Scops malayanus, Hay, from South China and the Malayan peninsula, is a dark brownish form differing from S. pennatus as that form does from the European S. giu ; and Scops rufipennis, Sharpe, from the Carnatic, which differs very little from S. malayanus, and is a small rather uniformly coloured race.
691. Scops giu