Oriental Bay Owl

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Image:OrientalBayOwl.jpg

Common Name: Oriental Bay Owl
Scientific Name: Phodilus badius

Size: 9-11.4 inches (23-29 cm); Wingspan: 28.7-29.5 inches (73-75 cm)

Habitat: Asia; South and South-East Asia, from eastern India and southern China, through Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Lao, Vietnam, Peninsular and East Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei Darussalem, Kalimantan, Sumatra, Java, and Bali, Indonesia.

Strictly nocturnal, occurring in dense evergreen primary and secondary forest in lowlands, foothills, submontane and montane forest up to 1,700 m in South-East Asia, although it has been recorded up to 2,300 m. Its preferred habitat is foothill forest between 200 and 1,000 m and submontane forest up to 1,500 m. It typically occurs alongside water.

Status: Least Concern. Global population: Unknown amount of adult individuals with a stable population trend. The species is considered to be very rare throughout most of its range.

Diet: Mostly small rodents (such as rats and mice), bats, birds, lizards, frogs, and large insects such as beetles and grasshoppers.

They are completely nocturnal and hunt from a perch, flying through dense stands of young trees beneath the forest canopy to make a kill. They also tend to hunt near water.

Nesting: Males and females are alike. The facial disc is elongated and colored whitish-wine, with a broad vertical chestnut-brown zone through each eye. The feathers of the rim are tipped blackish and chestnut-brown. The forehead is V-shaped and pale brownish-gray, with the upper part of the 'V' reaching the crown, giving the frontal shield a triangular aspect. Eyes are dark brown or brownish-black, and relatively large. The eyelids are whitish. The bill is creamy-yellow or pinkish-horn. The crown and nape are chestnut, speckled with black and buff shaft-spots. The mantle and back, to the upper tail-coverts, is a paler chestnut, spotted with black and buff shaft-streaks, with the feather bases being bright buff, and each mantle feather having 2-3 black spots on the shaft. The tail is chestnut with a few narrow dark bars. The outer two primary wing feathers (10th & 9th) have white on the outer webs, and are banded with black or chestnut edges. The 8th & 7th primaries also have white on the outer webs near the tips. The throat is creamy-wine. Underparts are vivid pale yellowish-brown, speckled with blackish-brown and buff. The tarsi are feathered to the toe joint with pinkish-wine feathers that become paler near the toe joint. The toes are yellowish-brown or pinkish-buff, with the claws being paler.

Breeding season is March to May around Nepal and Sikkim. In Java, eggs have been recorded from March to July. Nests are in tree holes, rotten tree trunks or stumps, or cavities. Has been recorded nesting in leaf layers of palms in Java. Has also been reported using nest boxes. 3-5 white eggs are laid at 2 day intervals. Incubation starts with the first egg, and is done by the female alone while the male brings in food. Incubation and fledging periods are unknown.

Cool Facts: A population of this species has apparently become extinct on Samar Island in the Philippines during the 20th century. It was described as Phodilus badius riverae and was only ever known from a single specimen, which was lost in a bombing raid in 1945.


Found in Songbird ReMix Owls of the World Volume 2

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