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Otus or scops owls, is a genus of typical owls. Approximately 45 living species are known, but new ones are frequently recognized and unknown ones are still being discovered every few years or so, especially in Indonesia. For most of the 20th century, this genus included the American screech owls, which are now again separated in Megascops based on a range of behavioral, biogeographical, morphological and DNA sequence data. Otus is the largest genus of owls in terms of number of species.

Scops owls in the modern sense are restricted to the Old World. A single North American species, the flammulated owl, was provisionally placed in Otus and has now been moved to its own monotypic genus.

As usual for owls, female scops owls are usually larger than the males of their species, with owls of both sexes being compact in size and shape. All of the birds in this genus are small and agile. Scops owls are colored in various brownish hues, sometimes with a lighter underside and/or face, which helps to camouflage them against the bark of trees. Some are polymorphic, occurring in a greyish- and a reddish-brown morph.

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