In southern France the Common Scops Owl occupies urbanized areas (villages) surrounded by semi-open habitats. It nests mostly in hollow trees and is one of the smallest nocturnal raptors, with a wingspan of 53 to 64 cm. It is also the only European owl to migrate. As early as mid-August it leaves southern Europe to winter south of the Sahara, returning to the region at the end of March when it immediately starts to sing. It feeds on large insects, small rodents, lizards and frogs.

Conservation objectives

This species is declining in Europe. Less than 10% of the European breeding population is present in France.

Reproduction periode

April to August


> Changing agricultural practices (intensive farming, use of pesticides)

> Destruction of natural habitat and nesting sites (dead trees, hedgerows)

> Use of pesticides (poisoning of food)