Originally mistaken for the Moluccan scops owl (Otus magicus), the Rinjani scops owl (Otus jolandae) was first discovered in 2003 but not formally described until 2013. This ‘whistling’ owl species was identified by its unique call, which is significantly different from that of the species it was first attributed to (1) (2).
The chin and throat of the Rinjani scops owl are barred white and rich brown, while the forehead has slightly darker barring. This species has a white eyebrow above each eye, the feathers of which are finely edged with rich brown.The Rinjani scops owl has reddish-brown to brownish-green ear tufts and brownish-green feathers on top of the head. The back of its neck is warmer brown compared to the top of the head as a result of interspersed warm-buff feathers. The plumage on the back and rump is warm brown with faint rich brown barring, and the uppertail-coverts are paler brownish-green in comparison (1).
The Rinjani scops owl’s breast is warm reddish-buff with thin white and brown barring, and its belly is also barred with white and brown. The white undertail-coverts have thin rich brown and broad reddish-brown bars. Its legs are feathered down to the base of the toes and are whitish-buff with weak brown spots or bars. This species’ wings are barred with various shades of brown (1).
The call of the Rinjani scops owl is described as a short, single whistle that is given at a relatively constant pitch (1).