One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A small owl with distinctive ear tufts, found in Europe, Africa, and Asia.
Genus Otus, family Strigidae: many species, in particular the widespread Eurasian scops owl (O. scops)
- ‘The shy little Sokoke scops owl lives only in one coastal reserve in Kenya and in a second isolated forest in Tanzania.’
- ‘She resembled a small scops owl, tiny, with huge eyes.’
- ‘Minutes later, a faint reply suggests that a pair of Sokoke scops owls have roosted in the distance.’
- ‘Here too live several unique plants and animals that are found nowhere else on earth - such as the Sokoke scops owl - and endangered species like the African elephant and the Sokoke bushy-tailed mongoose.’
Early 18th century: scops from modern Latin Scops (former genus name), from Greek skōps.
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