The scops owl or Syer is nocturnal which means it is active at night. It is mainly found in highland forests of Mahe, so it is rarely seen.
It can sometimes be heard calling from tall trees, its usual call sounds like a frog or the rasping noise of a big saw on wood,
|Seychelles Scops Owl © Herve Chelle
giving the bird its Creole name. The scops owl was thought to be extinct for many years and no one had seen a nest or egg nor knew what it ate, when these were discovered by Nature Seychelles team in 1999 and 2000. A survey by Nature Seychelles found that most of its habitat is now within the Morne Seychellois National Park where it is relatively protected.
Scientific name: Otus insularis
Conservation status: Endangered
Population in Seychelles: 249-300
Distribution in Seychelles: Mahe
Habitat: Upland forests
Nest: Nest in hollow trees, one white egg laid
Diet: Insects, spiders, possibly frogs and small lizards
Identification: A small brown owl with a two-note rasping (frog-like) call