Sunday, July 28, 2013

OWLS FOUND IN PAKISTAN

Barn owls :




Barn owls are medium to large sized owls with large heads and characteristic heart-shaped faces. They have long strong legs with powerful talons. There are 16 species found worldwide and only 1 species named " Barn Owl"  (Tyto alba) is found in Pakistan.




The Barn Owl is a pale, long-winged, long-legged owl with a short squarish tail.  The Barn Owl measures about 25–50 cm (9.8–20 in) in overall length, with a wingspan of some 75–110 cm (30–43 in). Adult body mass is also variable, ranging from 187 to 800 g (6.6 to 28 oz). Tail shape is a way of distinguishing the Barn Owl from true owls when seen in flight, as are the wavering motions and the open dangling feathered legs.


Its head and upper body typically vary between a light brown and a light colored and dark grey (especially on the forehead and back) feathers in most subspecies. Some are purer, richer brown instead, and all have fine black-and-white speckles except on the remiges and rectrices, which are light brown with darker bands. The heart-shaped face is usually bright white, but in some subspecies it is browner. The underparts (including the tarsometatarsus feathers) vary from white to reddish buff among the subspecies, and are either mostly unpatterned or bear a varying amount of tiny blackish-brown speckles. It was found that at least in the continental European populations, females with more spotting are healthier on average.  The bill varies from pale horn to dark buff, corresponding to the general plumage hue. The iris is blackish brown. The toes, as the bill, vary in color; their color ranges from pinkish to dark pinkish-grey. The talons are black.




TYPICAL OWLS:


Typical owls belongs to Family: Strigidae and its Order: Strigiformes. There are 195 species worldwide and 19 species occurs in Pakistan.


Typical owls are small to large solitary nocturnal birds of prey. They have large forward-facing eyes and ears, a hawk-like beak, and a conspicuous circle of feathers around each eye called a facial disk.

Following are species if owls found in Pakistan.
  1.     Indian Scops-Owl Otus bakkamoena
  2.     Collared Scops-Owl Otus lettia
  3.     Pallid Scops-Owl Otus brucei
  4.     European Scops-Owl Otus scops
  5.     Oriental Scops-Owl Otus sunia
  6.     Eurasian Eagle-Owl Bubo bubo
  7.     Rock Eagle-Owl Bubo bengalensis
  8.     Dusky Eagle-Owl Bubo coromandus
  9.     Brown Fish-Owl Ketupa zeylonensis
  10.     Mottled Wood-Owl Strix ocellata
  11.     Brown Wood-Owl Strix leptogrammica
  12.     Tawny Owl Strix aluco
  13.     Hume's Owl Strix butleri
  14.     Collared Owlet Glaucidium brodiei
  15.     Asian Barred Owlet Glaucidium cuculoides
  16.     Little Owl Athene noctua
  17.     Brown Hawk-Owl Ninox scutulata
  18.     Long-eared Owl Asio otus
  19.     Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus

Indian Scops Owl


The Indian Scops-owl is species is found in two morphs, greyish-brown and rufous. The adult male of nominate race has pale greyish or rufous facial disk bordered black. The facial disc is whitish or buff, and the eyes are orange or brown. Forehead, eyebrows and long ear-tufts are much paler. The crown is mottled blackish. The upperparts are mottled and spotted dark brown to blackish. There is a buff neckband. The underparts are grey-buff or rufous-buff with fine dark shaft streaks and vermiculations. The bill is horn-coloured with paler base and lower mandible, and dark tip. The legs are usually feathered to base of toes. The feet are brownish-flesh with horny-brown claws.The Indian Scops Owl is a small (23–25 cm) owl.  Both sexes are similar, with female slightly larger than male. The juvenile is pale grey or yellowish-brown according to the morph, and barred overall.

The Indian Scops-owl male gives a quiet, frog-like, interrogative “wuk?” or “whut?”. This sound is uttered in regularly spaced series with pauses between each note. The female has lower-pitched call. We can also hear series of slow bubbling “ackackackack” on ascending way.  
  
The Indian Scops Owl is a common resident bird in forests and other well-wooded areas. It nests in a hole in a tree and  lay 3–5 eggs.


Collared Scops Owl

The Collared Scops Owl (Otus lettia) has small head tufts, or ears. The upperparts are grey or brown, depending on the subspecies, with faint buff spotting. The underparts are buff with fine darker streaking. The facial disc is whitish or buff, and the eyes are orange or brown. There is a buff neckband. The Collared Scops Owl is a small (23–25 cm) owl.

The Collared Scops Owl is a common breeding bird in forests and other well-wooded areas. It nests in a hole in a tree and it lays 3-5 eggs.

This species is nocturnal. It feeds mainly on insects. The call is a quiet goog gook.

Both sexes are similar. The flight is deeply undulating.

Pallid Scops Owl

The Pallid Scops Owl is a small eared owl. It has distinct streaks on the back and intricate markings. The Pallid Scops Owl's  is primarily an insectivore and its diet includes insects, lizards, spiders, and small mammals. It occasionally hunts during the day, and has been known to take bats and insects on the wing.

The Breeding of Pallid Scops Owl takes place any time between April and June, where 4 to 6 eggs are laid in a tree cavity, such as a woodpecker hole. Incubation takes approximately 27 days, and the juveniles are fledged at 30 days.

The Pallid Scops Owl's call is a series of low, hollow, dove-like notes. It inhabits semi-open country with trees and bushes and has an estimated range of one to ten million kilometers

European Scops Owl

The European Scops Owl (Otus scops), also known as the Eurasian Scops Owl or just Scops Owl, is a small owl. This species is a part of the larger grouping of owls known as typical owls, Strigidae, which contains most species of owl. The other grouping is the barn owls, Tytonidae. This bird breeds in southern Europe eastwards into western and central Asia. It is migratory, wintering in southernmost Europe and sub-Saharan Africa. It is rare any distance north of its breeding range, usually occurring as a spring overshoot. It is unlikely that this nocturnal owl would be found outside the breeding season when it is not calling.

The European Scops Owl (Otus scops), also known as the Eurasian Scops Owl or just Scops Owl, is a small owl. This species is a part of the larger grouping of owls known as typical owls, Strigidae, which contains most species of owl. The other grouping is the barn owls, Tytonidae. This bird breeds in southern Europe eastwards into western and central Asia. It is migratory, wintering in southernmost Europe and sub-Saharan Africa. It is rare any distance north of its breeding range, usually occurring as a spring overshoot. It is unlikely that this nocturnal owl would be found outside the breeding season when it is not calling. 

Oriental Scops Owl


The Oriental Scops Owl (Otus sunia) is a species of Scops owl found in South Asia. They are found in dry deciduous forests. They are usually detected by their distinctive call.  

Eurasian Eagle-Owl


The Eurasian Eagle-Owl (Bubo bubo) is a species of eagle owl. It is one of the largest species of owls. 

This eagle owl mainly feeds on small mammals such as voles, rats, mice, rabbits and hares. When there is an opportunity, they will also prey on reptiles, including large and venomous snakes, frogs, fish and even large insects and earthworms.

This species usually nests on cliff ledges, crevices and caves. Occasionally, they may also take over a bird nest made by a large bird 

Laying generally begins in late winter, sometimes later. One clutch per year of 1-6 white eggs are laid, measuring 56-73mm x 44.2- 53mm (2.2- 2.9" x 1.7- 2.1") and weighing 75- 80 g (2.6- 2.8 oz). They are normally laid at 3 days intervals and are incubated by the female alone, starting from the first egg, for 31–36 days. During this time, she is fed at the nest by her mate.

Once hatched, the young open their eyes at around 2 days old and are brooded for about 2 weeks. The female stays with her offspring at the nest for 4–5 weeks. For the first 2–3 weeks the male brings food to the nest or deposits it nearby, and the female feeds small pieces the young, or the male feeds the young directly. At 3 weeks the chicks start to feed themselves and begin to swallow smaller items whole. At 5 weeks the young walk around the nesting area, and at 52 days are able to fly a few metres. They may leave ground nests as early as 22–25 days old, while elevated nests are left at an age of 5–7 weeks. Fledged young are cared for by both parents for around 20–24 weeks. They become independent between September and November in Europe, and leave the parents' territory (or are driven out by them). At this time the male begins to sing again and inspect potential future nesting sites. The young technically reach sexual maturity by the following year, but do not normally breed until they can establish a territory at around 2–3 years old

The Eagle Owl can live for up to 20 years in the wild. Healthy adults normally have no natural predators and are thus considered apex predators.  

Rock Eagle-Owl

Rock Eagle-Owl are typically large owls, and have "tufts" on their heads. The facial disk is unmarked and has a black border. The base of the primaries is unbanded and rufous. The tail bands have the tawn bands wider than the black ones. A large pale scapular patch is visible on the folded wingThe inner claws are the longest.  They are splashed with brown, and grey and have a white throat patch with black small stripes.The last joint of the toes are unfeathered.

Chicks are born with white fluff which is gradually replaced by speckled feathers during the prejuvenile moult after about two weeks. After a month or so they go through a prebasic moult and a brownish juvenile plumage is assume with the upperparts somewhat like in adults but the underside is downy. The full adult plumage is assumed much later

The deep resonant booming two note calls are characteristic and males deliver these "long calls that may be heard at dawn and dusk.

When feeding on rodents, they tear up the prey rather than swallow them whole

They are seen in scrub and light to medium forests but are especially seen near rocky places. they avoided Humid evergreen forest and extremely arid areas.

The nesting season is November to April. The eggs number three to four and are creamy white, broad roundish ovals with a smooth texture. They are laid on bare soil in a natural recess in an earth bank, on the ledge of a cliff, or under the shelter of a bush on level groundThe nest site is reused each year The eggs hatch after about 33 days and the chicks are dependent on their parents for nearly six months.

Dusky Eagle-Owl

Dusky Eagle-Owl species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion. Dusky Eagle Owl's Size is 53 cm (21 in). Large size with erect ear tufts when alert. Greyish brown upperparts marked with narrow dark streaks together with pale greyish buff underparts with fine blackish streaks distinctive. Iris orange and feathered tarsi. Heavily built with powerful talons they are recognisable by their size, their prominent ear-tufts, and their eyes that vary in colour from yellow to brown but are frequently vivid orange

The nesting season is from November to April. The nest is made of sticks in the fork of the trunk of a large tree preferably near water and often in the vicinity of human habitation.

 Brown Fish Owl

The Brown Fish Owl (Bubo zeylonensis or Ketupa zeylonensis) is an owl. This species is a part of the family known as typical owls, Strigidae, which contains most living owls. It inhabits the warm subtropical and humid tropical parts of continental Asia and some offshore islands.

It is a large owl with prominent "ear" tufts, typically around 55 centimetres (22 in) in length and weighing 2–2.5 kilograms (4.4–5.5 lb) when fully grown. Subspecies differ in size and males are smaller than females, with the smallest birds not quite 50 cm (20 in) long and weighing as little as 1,100 grams (39 oz).

The upperparts are reddish brown and heavily streaked with black or dark brown. The underparts are buff to whitish, with dark streaks and finer brown barring. The throat is white and can be conspicuously puffed, while the facial disk is indistinct. The irides are yellow, the feet a duller yellow, and the bill is dark. Sexes do not differ in appearance except for size

Its calls are described as a deep tu-hoo-hoo or a soft huphuphuphuphuphup or a loud huhuhuhuhuhuhu.

Mottled Wood Owl

The Mottled Wood Owl (Strix ocellata) is a species of large owl.  They have large size, lack of "ear" tufts and the concentric barring on the face.

Mottled Wood Owl is mottled and vermiculated in reddish brown and white. The face disc is marked with fine concentric black and white barring. The chin is white. The eyelid is orange and the iris is dark brown. The tail is barred narrowly in brown and black. The sexes are alike. The markings are pale above and the males have a wing length of 338–346 mm

They are easily detected by their distinctive tremulous eerie calls at dawn and dusk. The characteristic call is a duet of the male and female while other notes include a low hoot and a screech.

Brown Wood Owl


The Brown Wood Owl (Strix leptogrammica)  species is a part of the family of owls known as typical owls (Strigidae). It belongs to the earless owl genus Strix.

The Brown Wood Owl is medium large (45–57 cm), with upperparts uniformly dark brown, with faint white spotting on the shoulders. The underparts are buff with brown streaking. The facial disc is brown or rufous, edged with white and without concentric barring, and the eyes are dark brown. There is a white neckband. The sexes are similar.

The call is a (hoo) hoo hoo HOO or a deep goke-goke-ga-LOOO or a loud scream. The alarm call is a bark, wow-wow. Some subspecies are known to produce distinct vocalizations; they are also different in appearance and parapatric, and might be distinct species.

It is an uncommon resident bird of dense forests. This species is very nocturnal but it can often be located by the small birds that mob it while it is roosting in a tree.
It nests in a hole in a tree or on a forked trunk, laying two eggs.

 It feeds mainly on small mammals birds and reptiles.

 Tawny Owl


The Tawny Owl or Brown Owl (Strix aluco) is a stocky, medium-sized owl commonly found in woodlands across much of Eurasia. Its underparts are pale with dark streaks, and the upperparts are either brown or grey. Several of the eleven recognised subspecies have both variants. The nest is typically in a tree hole where it can protect its eggs and young against potential predators. This owl is non-migratory and highly territorial. Many young birds starve if they cannot find a vacant territory once parental care ceases.

This nocturnal bird of prey hunts mainly rodents, usually by dropping from a perch to seize its prey, which it swallows whole; in more urban areas its diet includes a higher proportion of birds. Vision and hearing adaptations and silent flight aid its night hunting. The Tawny is capable of catching smaller owls, but is itself vulnerable to the Eagle Owl or Northern Goshawk.

Although many people believe this owl has exceptional night vision, its retina is no more sensitive than a human's. Rather, it is its asymmetrically placed ears that are key to its hunting because they give the Tawny Owl excellent directional hearing. Its nocturnal habits and eerie, easily imitated call, have led to a mythical association of the Tawny with bad luck and death.

The Tawny Owl is a robust bird, 37–46 cm (15–18 in) in length, with an 81–105 cm (32–41 in) wingspan. Weight can range from 385 to 800 g (0.85 to 1.8 lb). Its large rounded head lacks ear tufts, and the facial disc surrounding the dark brown eyes is usually rather plain. The nominate race has two morphs which differ in their plumage colour, one form having rufous brown upperparts and the other greyish brown, although intermediates also occur. The underparts of both morphs are whitish and streaked with brown. This species is sexually dimorphic; the female is much larger than the male, 5% longer and more than 25% heavier.

The Tawny Owl flies with long glides on rounded wings, less undulating and with fewer wingbeats than other Eurasian owls, and typically at a greater height. The flight of the Tawny Owl is rather heavy and slow, particularly at its first entering on the wing.  As with most owls, its flight is silent because of its feathers' soft, furry upper surfaces and a fringe on the leading edge of the outer primaries. Its size, squat shape and broad wings distinguish it from other owls found within its range; Great Grey, Eagle and Ural Owls are similar in shape, but much larger.

An owl's eyes are placed at the front of the head and have a field overlap of 50–70%, giving it better binocular vision than diurnal birds of prey (overlap 30–50%). The Tawny Owl's retina has about 56,000 light-sensitive rod cells per square millimetre (36 million per square inch); although earlier claims that it could see in the infrared part of the spectrum have been dismissed, it is still often said to have eyesight 10 to 100 times better than humans in low-light conditions. However, the experimental basis for this claim is probably inaccurate by at least a factor of 10. The owl's actual visual acuity is only slightly greater than that of humans, and any increased sensitivity is due to optical factors rather than to greater retinal sensitivity; both humans and owl have reached the limit of resolution for the retinas of terrestrial vertebrates.

Tawny Owls pair off from the age of one year, and stay together in a usually monogamous relationship for life. An established pair's territory is defended year-round and maintained with little, if any, boundary change from year to year. The pair sit in cover on a branch close to a tree trunk during the day, and usually roost separately from July to October. Roosting owls may be discovered and "mobbed" by small birds during the day, but they normally ignore the disturbance.

The Tawny Owl typically nests in a hole in a tree, but will also use old European Magpie nests, squirrel dreys or holes in buildings, and readily takes to nest boxes. It nests from February onwards in the south of its range, but rarely before mid-March in Scandinavia. The glossy white eggs are 48 x 39 mm (1.89 x 1.54 in) in size and weigh 39.0 g (1.4 oz) of which 7% is shell. The typical clutch of two or three eggs is incubated by the female alone for 30 days to hatching, and the altricial, downy chicks fledge in a further 35–39 days. The young usually leave the nest up to ten days before fledging, and hide on nearby branches.

This species is fearless in defence of its nest and young, and, like other Strix owls, strikes for the intruder's head with its sharp talons. Because its flight is silent, it may not be detected until it is too late to avoid the danger. Dogs, cats and humans may be assaulted, sometimes without provocation.[12] Perhaps the best-known victim of the Tawny Owl's fierce attack was the renowned bird photographer Eric Hosking, who lost his left eye when struck by a bird he was attempting to photograph near its nest. He later called his autobiography An Eye for a Bird.

The parents care for young birds for two or three months after they fledge, but from August to November the juveniles disperse to find a territory of their own to occupy. If they fail to find a vacant territory, they usually starve.[6] The juvenile survival rate is unknown, but the annual survival rate for adults is 76.8%. The typical lifespan is five years, but an age of over 18 years has been recorded for a wild Tawny Owl, and of over 27 years for a captive bird.

Predators of the Tawny Owl include large birds such as Ural and Eagle Owls, Northern Goshawks, Golden Eagles, and Common Buzzards. Pine Martens may raid nests, especially where artificial nest boxes make the owls easy to find, and several instances have been recorded of Eurasian Jackdaws building nests on top of a brooding female Tawny Owl leading to the death of the adult and chicks.[12] A Danish study showed that predation by mammals, especially Red Foxes, was an important cause of mortality in newly fledged young, with 36% dying between fledging and independence. The mortality risk increased with fledging date from 14% in April to more than 58% in June, and increasing predation of late broods may be an important selective agent for early breeding in this species

This species is increasingly affected by avian malaria, the incidence of which has tripled in the last 70 years, in parallel with increasing global temperatures. An increase of one degree Celsius produces a two- to three-fold increase in the rate of malaria. In 2010, the incidence in British Tawny Owls was 60 percent, compared to 2–3 percent in 1996.Feeding
The Bank Vole is a common prey.

The Tawny Owl hunts almost entirely at night, watching from a perch before dropping or gliding silently down to its victim, but very occasionally it will hunt in daylight when it has young to feed. This species takes a wide range of prey, mainly woodland rodents, but also other mammals up to the size of a young rabbit, and birds, earthworms and beetles. In urban areas, birds make up a larger proportion of the diet, and species as unlikely as Mallard and Kittiwake have been killed and eaten.
Prey is typically swallowed whole, with indigestible parts regurgitated as pellets. These are medium-sized and grey, consisting mainly of rodent fur and often with bones protruding, and are found in groups under trees used for roosting or nesting

Less powerful woodland owls such as the Little Owl and the Long-eared Owl cannot usually co-exist with the stronger Tawny, which may take them as food items, and are found in different habitats; in Ireland the absence of the Tawny allowed the Long-eared to become the dominant owl. Similarly, where the Tawny Owl has moved into built-up areas, it tends to displace Barn Owls from their traditional nesting sites in buildings.

 Brown Wood Owl

The Brown Wood Owl (Strix leptogrammica) is a part of the family of owls known as typical owls (Strigidae), which contains most species of owl. It belongs to the earless owl genus Strix.

The Brown Wood Owl is medium large (45–57 cm), with upperparts uniformly dark brown, with faint white spotting on the shoulders. The underparts are buff with brown streaking. The facial disc is brown or rufous, edged with white and without concentric barring, and the eyes are dark brown. There is a white neckband. The sexes are similar.

The call is a (hoo) hoo hoo HOO or a deep goke-goke-ga-LOOO or a loud scream. The alarm call is a bark, wow-wow. Some subspecies are known to produce distinct vocalizations; they are also different in appearance and parapatric, and might be distinct species: 

It is an uncommon resident bird of dense forests. This species is very nocturnal but it can often be located by the small birds that mob it while it is roosting in a tree. It feeds mainly on small mammals birds and reptiles. It nests in a hole in a tree or on a forked trunk, laying two eggs.

 Hume's Owl

The Hume’s Owl or Hume’s Tawny Owl (Strix butleri) is a species of owl. This species is a part of the larger grouping of owls known as typical owls, Strigidae.

This is a medium-sized earless owl, at 29–33 cm in length. It is largely nocturnal and sedentary. Its stocky body and round head recall a small Tawny Owl, but it is paler, less streaked, particularly on the underparts, and has yellow eyes.

The call of the Hume’s Owl is a hoooo-ho-ho-ho-ho. The female version is deeper and less distinct than the male’s.

Hume’s Owl's habitat is palm groves, desert, semi-desert and rocky ravines. It nests in crevices and holes in cliffs. Its diet consists of voles, mice and large insects.

 Collared Owlet


The Collared Owlet (Glaucidium brodiei) is a species of owl in the Strigidae family.  It is the smallest owl, at 15 cm (6 in) and 60 grams (2.1 oz).

There are 4 recognized subspecies at the moment:
    Glaucidium brodiei borneense Sharpe,
    Glaucidium brodiei brodiei
    Glaucidium brodiei pardalotum
    Glaucidium brodiei sylvaticum 

This is a collared owlet, Glaucidium brodiei, a member of Strigidae, the typical owls. Shorter than a typical field guide is tall and weighing less than half as much as an iPhone, this species is the smallest owl in all of Asia and is one of the smallest owls in the world. Thus, it is placed into the genus, Glaucidium, along with several dozen other pygmy owls. However, most of the Asian species, and some of the African species show physical and behavioural differences that suggest they might be better placed in the genus, Athene, and DNA evidence suggests that there is only a distant relationship between the Old World pygmy owls and those of the New World.

The collared owlet has rufous or greyish upperparts with dark brown barring on its mantle, wings, tail and on the sides of its upper breast, a relatively large, rounded head with tiny buffy spots and bright yellow eyes. There are two large orange and black eyespots on the back of the neck. The underparts are white with a brown bar across the throat and rufous brown "droplet" shaped spots along the sides.

Here's a wonderful video of a calling collared owlet that gives you a great look at the yellow eyespots on the back of its head

 Asian Barred Owlet


The Asian Barred Owlet (Glaucidium cuculoides) is a species of true owl.  Its natural habitat is temperate forest.  It is found in open forest and scrub from the lowlands up to about 2,800 metres. Unlike most pygmy owl species, which are nocturnal, the Asian barred owlet hunts large insects and other small prey mainly during the day.

The coloured portion of a bird's eyes is known as the iris -- the same name as for the coloured portion of human eyes. Owls' iris colour supposedly indicates the times when they are most active. Dark eyed owls are supposedly nocturnal (active during the night) whilst orange-eyed owls supposedly are crepuscular (active at dawn/dusk) or diurnal (active in the daytime) species. Yellow-eyed owl species are rumoured to be diurnal, as palfreyman mentioned, but in reality, owl species with yellow irises, such as this barred owlet, can be active at a variety of times. That said, the Asian barred owlet is a diurnal species. So really, iris colour doesn't correspond very well to when an owl species is most active, even though this "factoid" makes a fun story to tell people.

Another interesting feature of owls' eyes is the pupils can dilate and contract independently -- something that indicates a serious head injury if it happens in a human. But in owls, this is important: when sitting in the sun, the pupil of the eye in the sunlight will be very small, whilst the pupil of the eye in the shade will be very large. This is not so easy to see in a dark-eyed owl, but is quite obvious in a yellow-eyed species.

One more interesting feature of owl eyes is an anatomical feature they share with all birds -- they have a transparent (or translucent) "third eyelid". Known as the nictitating membrane, this thin membrane lies closest to the eye underneath the eyelid itself. The function of this membrane is to protect the eyes from damage.

Little Owl

The Little Owl (Athene noctua) is a bird which is resident in much of the temperate and warmer parts of Europe, Asia east to Korea, and north Africa.

This species is a part of the larger grouping of owls known as typical owls, Strigidae, which contains most species of owl. The other grouping is the barn owls, Tytonidae.

The Little Owl is a small owl, 23-27.5 cm in length. The adult Little Owl of the most widespread form, the nominate A. n. noctua, is white-speckled brown above, and brown-streaked white below. It has a large head, long legs, and yellow eyes, and its white “eyebrows” give it a stern expression. This species has a bounding flight like a woodpecker. Juveniles are duller, and lack the adult's white crown spots. The call is a querulous kee-ik.


This is a sedentary species which is found in open country such as mixed farmland and parkland. It takes prey such as insects, earthworms, amphibians, but also small birds and mammals. It can attack birds of considerable size like game birds. It is partly diurnal and often perches boldly and prominently during the day. Little Owl egg (middle) compared with eggs of a Goldcrest (right) and chicken (left)

It becomes more vocal in nights as the breeding season approaches. Nest location varies based on the habitat, nests being found in holes in trees, rocks, cliffs, river banks, walls, buildings etc. It lays 3-5 eggs which are incubated by the female for 28–29 days, with a further 26 days to fledging.

Little Owls will also nest in buildings, both abandoned and those fitted with custom owl nest boxes. If living in an area with a large amount of human activity, Little Owls may grow used to man and will remain on their perch, often in full view, while humans are around.

Brown Hawk-Owl


The Brown Hawk-Owl (Ninox scutulata) is an owl which is a resident breeder in south Asia from India and Sri Lanka east to western Indonesia and south China.

This species is a part of the larger grouping of owls known as typical owls, Strigidae, which contains most species of owl. 

Brown Hawk-Owl is a resident breeder in most of tropical south Asia from the Middle East to south China. Its habitat is well-wooded country and forest. It lays three to five eggs in a tree hole.

The Brown Hawk-Owl is a medium-sized (32 cm) owl with a hawk-like shape due to its long tail and lack of a distinct facial disk. The upperparts are dark brown, with a barred tail. The underparts are whitish with reddish-brown streaking, although the subspecies found in the Andaman Islands has dark brown underparts. The tail is barred. The eyes are large and yellow. Sexes are similar.

This species is very nocturnal but it can often be located by the small birds that mob it while it is roosting in a tree. It feeds mainly on large insects, frogs, lizards, small birds, and mice. The call is a repeated low soft, musical oo-uk ...ooo-uk... which may be heard at dusk and dawn.

Long-eared Owl

The Long-eared Owl - Asio otus (previously: Strix otus) species is a part of the larger grouping of owls known as typical owls, family Strigidae, which contains most species of owl.

The Long-eared Owl is a medium sized owl, 31–40 cm (12–16 in) in length with an 86–100 cm (34–39 in) wingspan and a body mass of 178–435 g (6.3–15.3 oz). It has erect blackish ear-tufts, which are positioned in the center of the head. The ear-tufts are used to make the owl appear larger to other owls while perched. 

The female is larger in size and darker in coloration than the male. The Long-eared Owl’s brownish feathers are vertically streaked. Tarsus and toes are entirely feathered. Eye disks are also characteristic in this species.


The Long-eared Owl's breeding season is from February to July. It nests in trees. The average clutch size is 4-6 eggs, and the incubation time averages from 25–30 days. It will readily use artificial nesting baskets. An unusual characteristic of this species is its communal roosting in thickets during the winter months. The young have a characteristic call, likened to a rusty hinge.

The Long-eared Owl hunts over open country by night. It is has long wings and It glides  with its very long winged slowly on stiff wings when hunting. Its food is mainly rodents, small mammals, and birds. 

This bird is partially migratory, moving south in winter from the northern parts of its temperate range. Its habitat is forest close to open country.

Short-eared Owl

The Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus) is a species of typical owl (family Strigidae). Owls belonging to genus Asio are known as the eared owls, as they have tufts of feathers resembling mammalian ears. These "ear" tufts may or may not be visible. Asio flammeus will display its tufts when in a defensive pose. However, its very short tufts are usually not visible.  The word flammeus is Latin for "flaming, or the color of fire".

The Short-eared Owl, is a medium-sized owl measuring 34–43 cm (13–17 in) in length and weighing 206–475 g (7.3–16.8 oz). It has large eyes, big head, short neck, and broad wings. Its bill is short, strong, hooked and black. Its plumage is mottled tawny to brown with a barred tail and wings. The upper breast is significantly streaked . Its flight is characteristically floppy due to its irregular wingbeats. The Short-eared Owl may also be described as "moth or bat-like" in flight. Wingspans range from 85 to 110 cm (33 to 43 in).

Females are slightly larger than males. The yellow-orange eyes of A. flammeus are exaggerated by black rings encircling each eye and large, whitish disks of plumage surrounding the eyes like a mask. The Short-eared Owl is found in open country and grasslands.


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