Barred Jungle Owlet - Glaucidium radiatum
Synonym: Taenioglaux radiata
Calls - Glaucidium radiatum
Introduction: The Barred Jungle Owlet (or just Jungle Owlet) is a small owlet with a rounded head and no ear-tufts.
[For help with terms used in the description, see parts of an owl. For general characteristics common to most owl species, see owl physiology.]
Description: The facial disc is indistinct, while the Chin,
short eyebrows and moustachial streak are pure white. Eyes are bright
lemon-yellow and the cere bluish. The bill is greenish-yellow to
yellowish-grey. There is a white patch on the breast. Upperparts are dark
greyish-brown, and densely marked with narrow, pale ochre or rufous bars. There
are bars on the back, rump and uppertail-coverts that are often almost pure
The underparts are white, more or less tinged rufous to the lower
breast and pure white on the vent and belly. Breast and belly sides, and flanks
are barred grey-brown.
Some birds are greyer than others.
feathered and the toes finely bristled, and coloured dirty greenish-yellow with
yellowish soles. Claws are dark horn-brown.
Size: Length about 20cm. Wing length 120-136mm. Tail length
62-84mm. Weight 88-114g.
Habits: The Barred Jungle Owlet is a generally crepuscular
owl most active an hour or so before dusk and a similar time before sunrise, but
also moves about during the night. Frequents the tops of tall trees, usually on
steep hillsides. These owls can be seen sunbathing in the early morning or late
afternoon, and may fly freely and hunt in the daytime, especially if the weather
is cloudy. However, they usually roost during the day on a leafy branch or in a
Voice: The song of the male is a loud, musical, wooden
trill. It starts softly, becomes louder and the fades away -
praorr-praorr-praorr-praorr. A phrase can contain 3-10 notes at a rate of
about 1.5-2.5 notes per second. Phrases are repeated at intervals of several
seconds. They are often uttered monotonously on moonlit nights.
There is also
a sequence of trilled notes - kwurr kwurr kwurr...
Hunting & Food: Barred Jungle Owlets feed mostly on
grasshoppers, locusts, cicadas and other large insects. They will also take
molluscs, lizards, mice and small birds.
Breeding: Breeding season is from March to May. Nests are in
natural tree hollows, or abandoned woodpecker or barbet holes; either in the
trunk or branch of a tree standing in an open forest. Nest sites are usually 3
to 8 metres from the ground. Three or four roundish white eggs are laid
averaging 31.4 x 26.8mm.
Habitat: Himalayan foothills, submontane moist deciduous
forest and secondary jungle with bamboos. Also in dry to moist deciduous
forests. Occurs up to about 2000m elevation (1100m in Sri Lanka).
Distribution: West Himachal to Bhutan and West Bengal south
through peninsular India to Sri Lanka. Also reported from Assam, Arunachal,
Bangladesh and Burma.
Distribution of the Barred Jungle Owlet Glaucidium radiatum
Status: Locally not rare.
Original Description: Tickell, Samuel Richard. 1833. The Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal (J. Asiat. Soc. Bengal) 2: p 572.
G. r. radiatum,
G. r. malabaricum
Page compiled by Deane Lewis. Page last updated 2015-02-22
OwlPages.com Owl Species ID: 190.280.000