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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Spotted owl - Athene brama

The Spotted Owlet (Athene brama) is an owl which breeds in tropical Asia from India to Southeast Asia. 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.
Spotted Owlet is a common resident bird in open habitats including farmland and human habitation. It nests in a hole in a tree or building, laying 3-5 eggs.
The Spotted Owlet is small (21cm) and stocky. The upperparts are grey-brown, heavily spotted with white. The underparts are white, streaked with brown. The facial disc is pale and the eyes are yellow. There is a white neckband. Sexes are similar. The flight is deeply undulating.
This species is nocturnal but is sometimes seen in the day. It can often be located by the small birds that mob it while it is perched in a tree. It hunts a variety of insects and small vertebrates. The call is a harsh chirurr-chirurr-chirurr.

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