Common Splushka - description, characteristics and habitat


Differs in small size, incomplete facial disc, small feather "ears" on the head, a bobbin, feathered to the fingers. The general plumage tone is brownish-gray, many longitudinal light and dark pestrin. The underparts are lighter, with clearer longitudinal marks. The iris of the eyes is bright yellow. Sexual dimorphism is mild - females are slightly larger than males. There are two color morphs: gray and red.

Spread. View migratory and sedentary. It has 2 subspecies in Eurasia and North-West Africa. The European range for the most part does not go to the north beyond 48 ° north latitude. It winters in the south of the range up to tropical Africa. In Italy, the number of nesting populations is 4–8 thousand pairs, the height of distribution is up to 1 700 meters above sea level.

Habitat. Often settles in light deciduous and mixed forests, pine, chestnut and olive groves, parks, gardens, mountain forests, where there is a hollow mainly on the edges, avoids the thickets. The vertical spreading of the splushka is limited to the forest zone.

Biology. It nests in hollows, natural niches, occupies old nests of corvids. In April-June, it lays 4–5 white eggs, which the female incubates for 24–25 days. Nestlings leave the nest on the 21st –29th day of life. Characteristic of one clutch per year. Outside the nesting period leads a solitary lifestyle. It feeds mainly on large insects: beetles, nocturnal butterflies, orthoptera, rarely spiders, birds and rodents.

Interesting fact. Splyushka is easily recognizable by the characteristic monotonous cry - “sleep-y”, published at regular intervals at twilight time, but its exact location is not easy to determine.

Security. The number of species in different parts of the European area is falling, the main reason - the reduction of food supply due to the use of pesticides in agriculture.

Ordinary scoop, or splyushka (Otus scops)

Biological description

Splyushka ordinary or dawn (lat. Otus scops) belongs to the order of owls, lives in the steppe and semi-steppe territories of southern Europe.

The bird is insectivorous, its main prey: large beetles, butterflies, and orthoptera, are attacked by vertebrate mammals only as a last resort. Term life - up to 6 years.

The body size is usually up to 21 cm with a weight of 60-130 g, the wingspan can reach 50 cm. The plumage has a gray-brown color, there are white spots on the shoulders, dark mottles and a streamy pattern with color patches resembling the color of wood are visible throughout the body bark. In nature, there are 2 color species: red and gray.

On the head there are ears in the form of 2 bunches of feathers, similar to ornaments, eyes are round with a yellow or orange iris, the beak is dark. Due to its color and size, it is difficult to find a bird in the forest until it gives voices.

It received its name for the sad characteristic cry “sleep-spit” or “sleep-th-th” with whistles, which is heard every 2-3 seconds. It has several subspecies found in various regions of Europe, Asia, the Caucasus and the Balearic Islands.

Lifestyle & Habitat

Like all owls, Splushka is nocturnal. Nests can be found in many regions of southern Europe, Siberia (from the southern part to Lake Baikal), in Asia to the foothills, North Africa and the Middle East.

He loves deciduous trees, settles in gardens, parks, woodlands with pine plantations, in the Mediterranean he prefers olive groves, and he often gets closer to human habitation. In mountainous areas it nests to a height of 3 km above sea level.

The scoop is a migratory bird: for the winter it migrates to the tropical forests of Africa, located south of the Sahara.

Splyushka vulgaris arrives in Russia in April and settles until the end of August-September. In the daytime, it hides in the branches of trees, and in case of any danger it lifts the ears and stretches into a column, merging with the surrounding tree bark.

Reproduction of splushka

The breeding season begins immediately after returning from wintering, and for southern species - already in February. Breeding scoop falls on May-July, and in some regions and later. Before mating, the male begins to call on the female, after her answer, they settle in the selected nest and live as a pair, the chicks hatch once a year.

It chooses hollows, cracks in rocks, sometimes occupies forty or other birds of prey, burrows of kingfishers and bee-eaters. Couples, as a rule, live in a certain area for many years in a row and arrange permanent nests.

The common scoop (splyushka) lays 2-6 eggs of white color every 2 days, about 3 cm in size, weighing up to 15 g. The incubation period is 25 days, feeding the chicks up to a month. The female incubates the eggs, and both parents alternate in feeding. Nestlings in the nest are often of different ages.

Little chicks are covered with white down. After a few days, the young people, who have a light gray color in a transverse strip and a rest on their backs on their backs, are leaving the nest and learning to fly. A mesoptile is formed at the bottom of the age of 45 days, after a partial molt it is fledged into the adult characteristic “outfit”.

Adult birds are ready for breeding at the age of 10 months.

African view of a splushka

Common African Splyushka (lat. Otus senegalensis) is closely related to the Ussuri scoops, but is brighter colored: on the abdomen there are longitudinal variegated feathers with a relief pattern. The plumage of these birds is designed to mask during the hunting period, so that they merge with the background in the form of tree bark.

The size of an African scoop can reach 24 cm. It got its name from living in the African savannah on rarely growing trees and thorny bushes, in a wooded area with grass, in the jungle, etc.

Habitat: the African continent south of the Sahara desert and then most of the southern regions of the continent.

The diet of the African Splushka contains more small mammals than other species: rodents or small birds. During a hunt at dusk or at night, they rush from the perch and fall sharply down, insects are harvested in open areas.

The nesting season is at the end of summer - the beginning of autumn, and in the southern regions - until February. Most often, females use already built housing or hollows in the trees.

Singing and Splash

The most common song of an ordinary splushka is a loud drawn-out cry resembling the word “I am sleeping”, for which the bird got its Russian name.

A male during the breeding season invites the female in a monotonous call-up mating cry, to which several birds can simultaneously overlap. Sometimes splushki make a "cat's cry", and in southern Africa they are able to reproduce sounds like stuttering muttering, less often - songs resembling the sound of a flute at high frequencies "fw th".

In the midst of "courtship", a couple sings a duet quite consistently, only in females the voice is a bit duller. When the weather is warm and overcast, the screams can be heard in the daytime.


Scoop very calmly refers to the person and can become a tame pet. The maintenance of a splyushka ordinary at home is quite simple and interesting, because they easily adapt to life in captivity.

Usually they are kept one by one, sometimes they are lodged in a large cage where there is a hollow or a house. The optimal living size is about 1 cu. m., comfortable branches are necessary, because day the birds sit motionless in a quiet corner, and in the evening they start feeding and lead an active lifestyle.

It is difficult to distinguish the sex of the bird due to the same appearance, but the females are slightly larger. It is easiest to tame birds grown from chicks and fed by man. They can sit on the hand, finger, take food from the owner.

The diet of the splines in captivity: locusts, various types of cockroaches, larvae, meal and earthworms, etc. You can give finely chopped meat, sprinkled with ant eggs. Occasionally chicken hearts or stomachs are added to food, but food should be given only fresh. When food poisoning scoop can not have time to save. In the summertime, green parts of dandelions and fruits are added for variety. The presence of pure water in the cell is obligatory

Starting from mid-January until the end of summer, a molting period takes place, during which the diet should be carefully selected.

Reproduction in captivity occurs successfully, usually females lay 4 eggs, hatch them and with confidence belong to the owner during this period.

Interesting facts about scoop

Splyushka vulgaris is the most popular bird among lovers of the exotic, because it is valued for its diminutiveness and unpretentiousness in care. This breed is perfect for keeping in the conditions of a house or apartment, it is easily tamed and gets along peacefully with a person, completely unpretentious to the stern and living conditions. Many bird lovers successfully breed them.

Splushka people are also called “tykalka” because of similar sounds being made, and they called her dawn for the fact that she often sings songs at sunrise, when gentle warm rays are just beginning to dry the grass that is wet with dew.

These birds have excellent camouflage abilities, as they are accustomed to camouflage in the daytime, sitting motionless on the branches of trees. They do it so professionally that even the neighbors can overlook them and jump alongside, taking an owl for a dry tree covered with lichen.

The French dubbed Splushka the little duke (the big one is an eagle owl) for their good looks and kind round eyes, although this bird is a predator.


View migratory and sedentary. It has 2 subspecies in Eurasia and North-West Africa. The European range for the most part does not go to the north beyond 48 ° north latitude. It winters in the south of the range up to tropical Africa. In Italy, the number of nesting populations is 4–8 thousand pairs, the height of distribution is up to 1 700 meters above sea level.

Often settles in light deciduous and mixed forests, pine, chestnut and olive groves, parks, gardens, mountain forests, where there is a hollow mainly on the edges, avoids the thickets. The vertical spreading of the splushka is limited to the forest zone.


At first glance, it is simply impossible not to fall in love with this wonderful creature. The big yellow eyes of the bird tell the future owner that he does not even hesitate and quickly take a new tenant to his home. The size of the body of an owl is between fifteen and twenty centimeters. The bird weighs about 60-130 grams. Ordinary gray-brown color goes well with streamlined patterns.

It is quite simple to distinguish the female from the male. Females are always bigger. The wingspan of this individual in flight is fifty centimeters. Owners should pay attention to the fact that when an owl behaves calmly, the feathers on her ears are almost imperceptible and only in a state of heightened excitement her so-called ear bundles rise.

Splyushka bird in nature

The night bird hides in the thick of bushes or on branches at the trunk of a tree during the day, at danger it is pulled out by a column, lifts “ears” and becomes surprisingly similar to a broken off dried tree twig. She is cautious, gullible in relation to a person, lets her close during the day when she is accidentally met in the forest. During the day, he sees as well as at dusk, does not see him in complete darkness and stumbles upon objects in flight. In the evening twilight, the flying splyushka resembles a large butterfly, flies silently and maneuverable, often uses a gliding flight. Most of the year is silent. In the marriage period, a loud, slightly sad monosyllabic whistle “I sleep,” monotonously repeating for 10–30 min. The same cry is also specific, with the help of which the male and the female maintain in a pair a connection between themselves, the females scream so exclusively rarely.

The neighboring males spring overlap for a long time, changing the tone of the song. This species is also characterized by pair, or antiphonal, singing, when two males shout simultaneously and harmoniously. Much less often in the midst of the current male and female sing in a coordinated duet. The female voice is not so sonorous, the cry of her is like a double “I sleep – plus”. In general, the duet song sounds like this: “I sleep, I sleep — plus.” The male cries out, “I sleep”, and the female echoes in a sad manner, “I sleep — plus.” In cloudy, warm weather in spring, the males sing not only at night, but also during the day. Maximum song activity is observed in the morning and evening hours,

In case of danger, especially at the nest with chicks, the splyushka utters a screaming cry, vaguely reminiscent of a scared cat. The approximate shout is a quiet “chuk-chuk”. Newborn chicks squeak a little pi-pi-pi, and at the age of 8–10 days they sigh loudly when begging for food. Grown-up chicks, at danger, sizzle and snap their beaks. A female disturbed on the nest also hisses. In general, the set of splushka's cries is unusually wide, especially due to the change in the tonality of the screams, but they are not studied enough.

Breeds in single pairs. Outside the breeding season leads a solitary lifestyle. The scoop differs from other types of fully feathered tsevka, but the feathers growing on it do not fall on the bases of the fingers. It differs from the collar scoop by its smaller size and the absence of a bright neck. It differs from a common dwelling scoop, which it occurs in common places, with a more intense coloration, a different wing structure, and nesting in mountain forests rather than lowland forests. From the Ussuri scoop, it also compares with the structure of the wing, the feathered bottom of the bob.

Splyushka eats mainly insects. This bird has its own observation point, from where it is convenient for it to look out for and detect prey with the help of hearing. Eyes scoops look straight ahead, so her field of vision is limited. However, like other owls, a splyushka can turn its head in all directions, while its body remains stationary. The small mobility of the eyes is generously compensated by the ability of the scoops to turn their heads 270 °. So she tracks down prey, without attracting too much attention to herself. Having noticed the victim, the owl splyushka takes off and grabs its claws.

Most often, it catches prey, which is on the ground, but butterflies can be enough in flight. With an insect in its beak, the flatfish returns to the tree and, before eating the prey, tears off its wings. Most often scoop caught locusts, dragonflies, cicadas, earwigs, beetles, ants, butterflies and spiders. The owl splyushka even able to pull out of the earth earthworm. Her diet is diversified by lizards, frogs, mice, bats and small birds.

Before eating, a splushka plucks feathery game, and tears off large prey to pieces. During the feeding of chicks, scoops are often sent hunting during the daytime as well.


In the wild, Splyushka lays from three to six eggs. As already mentioned above, a bird of this kind does not build its own nest, therefore it lays eggs somewhere on the ground between stones or in a hollow. During the incubation, it is the male who produces food for the female.

When the chicks are born, their mother immediately offers them to test their prey. Just before this, the male breaks it into very small pieces, so that it is easier to eat it. As for the newborns themselves, when they are born, they already have a very good hearing, but they are completely blind. Having reached eleven days, the children, without the help of their parents, begin to eat in large pieces. Having reached its twenty-first day, the chicks are trying to fly out of the nest. Some of them are afraid to go to the first crucial step in their lives. Then the parents are trying to somehow push their children. They circle over the kids and encourage the birds in every way, and they, in turn, stop being afraid and go on their first flight.

Features of poultry

The bird loves to mess with paper and pieces of cloth. In order for the pet to feel truly at home, the person who decided to start it should definitely install sand pens.

When the room is ready, you can already go to the store for one of the most attractive creatures on earth. You really only need to go where people know a lot about birds, and sellers are ready to provide relevant documents. Buying on the market can turn into not particularly pleasant consequences. The future pet may already be infected with worms, and indeed he is unlikely to get used to the person.

Feeding at home

Eating scoop is an interesting and challenging process. We can say that splyushka in this respect is a universal owl. None of the well-known owls has such a wide spectrum in the diet when kept in captivity. The composition of the feed consumed at various times is divided conditionally into several groups: meat, vegetable, insects, and others. Of course, the basis of food for owls is meat feed.

As a rule, it is frozen in the freezer feed, extracted from there on the eve of feeding. Mice, 2-3-day-old chickens are cut into small pieces and offered to the birds in the evening. Scoops prefer this food more than middle-aged rats, Djungarian hamsters, and chicks of pigeons. With reluctance, the birds eat crushed and chopped into small pieces chicken necks, ventricles. Along with the meat of adult rats, this is tough and poorly eaten food. В жаркое лето категорически не следует оставлять в кормушке несъеденные остатки мясной пищи. Она быстро портится, и птицы часто получают отравление, от которого не всегда удается спасти совку.

Надо быть крайне осторожным с кормлением совок, особенно, с кормами, которые в природе птицей не всегда используются. One example: one of the birds, who ate too many sliced ​​dandelions, choked on a sponge, formed partly from dandelion. The bird could not belch the beast that was strongly swollen in the throat. The second accident, when the acute femur of an adult rat pierced the esophagus. Fortunately, we managed to notice this and save the bird.

Vegetable feed poultry can be offered in the spring and summer, when they are most accessible. It can be a tender young, finely chopped dandelion, during the flowering of white acacia flowers. Somewhat later, sweet strawberries, slices of ripe sweet pears and apples, sweet grapes and melons. In May-June, during the mass flight of the Khrushchev, the birds of the May and June Khrushchev are offered to birds. In the summer, large green grasshoppers, larvae of the May beetle and bronzovok serve as a great delicacy. Superb splushki eat crickets, marble cockroaches, flour-eating larvae, zoophobos and ant pupae. All listed insects scoops can eat in unlimited quantities.

For other feeds should include a mash made from boiled in steep and grated on a large grater of chicken eggs, cottage cheese, grated carrots and buckwheat porridge. In the mash, sometimes I get half sprouted wheat. Slightly less often offer pieces of a loaf soaked in tea or milk.

Having once again touched upon the theme of comfort, one can say that many people, having turned on this or that animal, have no idea what conditions are required for it. Ignoring the above, they can ruin the life of a feathery in captivity.

Even starting a regular hedgehog, it is worth considering the fact that riding the curtains is his favorite hobby. Unknowing owners, of course, will scold the new pet. Similarly, any exotic animals may well not meet the expectations. Before you start them, you need to learn as much information as possible about the right content, communicate with knowledgeable people, weigh the pros and cons and then make the right decision.

Wonderful bird

This pretty bird has got its name from the sound it reproduces. Females usually publish a whistling, consisting of two syllables, males - of one. At the hearing, you can perceive it as the word "sleep", from which the name went. In nature, it is quite often the owl Splushka, which photo can be seen in our article. This predominantly predominantly forest predator has recently been increasingly found in private homes thanks to demanding breeders. However, it is not necessary to acquire a scoop in the bird markets, because there are mostly free-fledged chicks sold there. They can be infected with worms and other parasites and diseases without prior symptoms. The best option is when the owl is bred in a specialized nursery. The benefits of such an acquisition are many. For example, such a scoop will certainly become tame, as it is bred in nursery conditions, like its relatives. There is also a guarantee that the bird is healthy.

Appearance Description

Splyushka owl has a compact size, only about 20 cm, and a small mass - an average of 100 grams, while it has a half-meter wingspan. Color mainly in gray and brown, with small spots of white on the feathers in the shoulders. In the middle of the body along the entire length, as a rule, there is a streaming pattern. Less common scoops with plumage in red tones. The iris of the eye is most often yellow. More rare is orange or red.

Bathing and games

By the habits of scoops can be attributed to swimming, so the room is not superfluous to install a container with clean water. In her bird would be happy to take a bath, and drink when she wants. Also, the pet must be allocated a place to play. Scoops love to play around with pieces of paper or cloth. Indoors it is good to partially cover the floor or any surface with artificial grass, this will create a sense of nature, which means comfort. Ideally, of course, imitate your pet tree with a hollow or cleft. In principle, there is nothing complicated in this, and how much pleasure it will bring to the owl can be seen immediately after installation. For this, any thick branch or part of a tree will do.

If there is an opportunity in the private house to attach an open-air cage on the air, then the domestic owl will be very glad to this. The design should be closed with deaf walls on three sides to prevent drafts. The facade must be closed with vertical slats, and the roof must be tightly closed, protecting the pet from precipitation. The area of ​​the enclosure should be as large as possible.

Owl splyushka has its preferences in food. Being a predator in nature, it should receive animal food daily. Of course, in conditions of will, they usually eat small rodents, chicks and large insects. Tamed representatives of this species are not an exception, but they also will be suitable for ordinary meat, but not for shop packing. Having certain features of digestion, an owl can simply not digest the food eaten. It is better to give preference, for example, to domestic chickens.

Also, when feeding should take into account the characteristics of the owl's digestion. After taking a meal, a splushka usually spits up remnants of bones and woolen lumps. This is proof of the proper functioning of the pet's digestive tract.

Lure can be made from insects and earthworms. Also scoops need plant food. For example, fruits and berries, cereals, dandelions and some vegetables. Products of plant origin are really important for the health of the birds, but they are the most difficult to enter. Since the owl splyushka often chooses only what she likes. In this issue will have to experiment.

Whatever the food, it should definitely be served at room temperature, no more than 2 times a day. The diet should be varied. It is important for owls who live at home to arrange fasting days. Because of their sedentary lifestyle, they are often obese. Another component of the correct content of the splash is the organization of the drinker. These birds have a special need for water, the satisfaction of which is important for maintaining their health.

What to do in order to have offspring?

In order for birds of predatory origin to produce offspring, it is necessary to reflect the natural conditions of their habitat as naturally as possible. It is definitely necessary to build a nest in a hollow or a box. And in order for the offspring to be healthy, it is necessary to carefully maintain cleanliness in its habitat, as well as to monitor the optimum level of humidity.

When organizing a place for an owl, you should be aware that in the wild it is a nocturnal predator. Therefore, it is possible to do with natural light. When night falls, the owl is perfectly orientated in space, as it has excellent vision in the dark. Also, the room where the pet lives should be effectively isolated from noise. If this is not possible, then it is necessary to at least avoid harsh sounds or noises. This can excite the bird, causing it to become frightened.