Comparison Of African Scops Owl And Snowy Owl

African Scops Owl (from tropical region) is compared with Snowy Owl (from polar region), looking at their similarities and differences.

African Scops Owl is compared with Snowy Owl, looking at their diets, sexual reproduction, how they hunt and also how they socialise or communicate with others. The purpose of this comparison is to learn and know how these animals two animals got adapted to their environments.

Snowy Owls are one of the biggest bird species in the world. Their body is covered with white feathers that have brown bars and spots. Legs and feet are covered with white feathers, to protect itself from getting cold. They have the largest plumage. African Scops Owls are one of the smallest bird species. They are covered with grey feathers with a tail that has dark bars. Since they are found in a tropical area, they have few feathers in their legs and feet, the feathers are pale brown in colour.

Snowy Owls feed mainly on other vertebrates, this means they are carnivorous. They feed on rodents and mice, sometimes they eat rabbits, seabirds and fish only if they can catch them or when they have a big appetite. On the other hand, Aftrican Scops Owls are insectivorous, implying that they feed on insects such as beetles, locusts etc. They occasionally feed in spiders, scorpions and other small vertebrates.

Snowy Owls and African Scops Owls are both monogamous. Monogamous means that one male mate with one female only, they do not change matting partners. Both parents take care of the nests by distracting predators from coming to the nest or by diving on top of the predator. The males hunt food whilst the females look after the chicks. The females then tear the food into smaller pieces so that the chicks can be able to swallow the food.

African Scops Owls have the shortest breeding cycle compared to snowy owls. African Snops Owl females lay 3-6 eggs, then sit on them to transfer body heat to the eggs. After the eggs hatch, the chicks are fed by both parents until they are old enough to survive on their own. The chicks can leave the nest when they are 3-4 weeks old but under parental guidance. However in Snowy Owls, females lay up to 16 eggs and sit on them for 32-34 days. The chicks leave the nest when they are 14-25 days old. Both parents feed them for 5-7 weeks.

Snowy owls are not the same as other owls. They are diurnal, meaning that they are active throughout the day. They catch their prey prey during the day, if not at night they become more hungry. Meanwhile African Scops Owls are nocturnal, they are active throughout the night. Snowy Owls cannot help it but to be active throughout the day because most of the time they are not active, especially during the day in winter.

African Scops Owls make sounds like “kurr” or “prrp”. They make this type of sounds when they are playing with others or when they are happy and excited about something. On the other hand, Snowy Owls make sounds like “hooo-uh” or “wuh-wuh-wuh” when they are also happy and excited about something or when they are playing with other owls. The sounds that they make is a way of communicating and socializing with others.

African Scops Owls are insectivores, they are monogamous, they have the shortest breeding cycle, they are nocturnal and also they make sounds like “kurr” or “prrp” to show their mood. Snow Owls are carnivores, they have the longest breeding cycle, they are diurnal and also they make sounds like “hooo-uh” or “wuh-wuh-wuh” to socialize and communicate. These two animals show similarities whereby they are both monogamous and have parental care. The difference is that one is carnivorous and the other is insectivorous, one has a longest breeding cycle, the other has a short breeding cycle.


  1. Boyer and Hume. 1991. Owls of the world. New York. Wiley. 147 pp
  2. Grzimek, B. 1992. Grzimek Animal Life Encyclopedia. London, Nostrana Reinhold
  3. Accessed 04/08/19
  4. Christer G. Wiklund and Jimmy Stigh, 1983,Nest defence and Evolution of Reversed Sexual Size Dimorphism in Snowy Owls (Nyctea Scandiaca), Wiley, Pp 58-62
  5. Parmelee. D. 1992. The North Amrperican Snowy owls (Nyctea Scandiaca). P stettenheim,F. Gill, eds, Washington, 200pp
09 March 2021
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