Rare Indonesian owl photographed by Danes
News from BirdLife International today – accompanied by the splendid photographed of a Flores Scops-Owl featured above – tells about a Danish funded conservation project for the forests around Mbeliling on Flores, Indonesia. The Flores Scops Owl that is just as enigmatic as the Long-whiskered Owlet in Peru. Only in 2005 was if found outside a net for the first time.
One of the world’s most elusive owls has been found – and photographed – in the forest around Mbeliling on Flores in Indonesia, where BirdLife Denmark is involved with a Danida-funded nature conservation project in collaboration with the local communities and the Indonesian BirdLife Partner, Burung Indonesia. The finding of the endemic Flores Scops-owl Scops alfredi is an important result for the project.
Until now, Flores Scops-owl has only been known from forests further inland on the island, where the species is very rare. Just a few people have ever seen or even heard the small, red owl, which seems to prefer near-inaccessible forests on steep hillsides.
There are only a few known sightings of the species, and it’s only within the last decade that the owl’s status as a species has been recognised. Three specimens collected in 1896 were initially regarded as a colour variation of another Indonesian scops-owl species. However, two birds caught in a net in 1994 determined that Flores Scops-owl was indeed a species. In 2005, two birds were both seen and heard simultaneously, which once and for all determined the bird’s call. Previous audio recordings had been questioned, because the call of Flores Scops-owl resembles the call of Red-legged Crake Rallina fasciata which can also be found on Flores.
Photo of Flores Scops Owl by Jens Kristian Kjærgaard
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