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São Miguel Scops Owl
Image 1182-otus-frutuosoi
Information
Range island of São Miguel, in the Macaronesian archipelago of the Azores, in the North Atlantic Ocean.
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Strigiformes
Family Strigidae
Genus Otus
Species Otus frutuosoi
Conservation Status
EXSpecies
Extinct

The São Miguel scops owl (Otus frutuosoi), is an extinct species of small scops owl that once inhabited the island of São Miguel, in the Macaronesian archipelago of the Azores, in the North Atlantic Ocean.

Discovery

The owl was described from subfossil bones. It is the first extinct owl species to be described from the Azores and only the second (the first being the Madeiran scops owl) from Macaronesia. The describers suggest that the most likely cause of extinction was human settlement in the 15th century, with its associated habitat destruction and the introduction of alien species.

Description

Compared with the Eurasian scops owl, the wings were shorter, the legs longer, and the pelvis both broader and shorter. It was also generally smaller than the Madeira Scops Owl. The proportions of its limbs and wing loading indicate that it lived mainly on the ground and had only weak powers of flight.

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