Sunday, 8 January 2012

Spotted owlet

Athene brama

Photo by Lip Kee (Flickr)

Common name:
spotted owlet (en); mocho-de-Brama (pt); chevêche brame (fr); mochuelo Brahmán (es); Brahmakauz (de)

Order Strigiformes
Family Strigidae

This Asian species is found from eastern Iran and Afghanistan, throughout Pakistan and India and into Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam.

These birds are 19-21 cm long and weigh 110-115 g.

Spotted owlets are generally found in heavily degraded patches of former tropical and subtropical forests, in pastures and arable land, and also in hot deserts. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 1.500 m.

They mostly eat insects, namely beetles and moths, and small rodents, but also bats, toads, small snakes, lizards, small birds, scorpions, earthworms and molluscs.

Spotted owlets breed in November-April. They nest in natural tree hollows, or in holes and cavities in human dwellings, where the female lays 2-5 white eggs. The eggs are incubated by both sexes for 25-30 days, and the chicks fledge 30-33 days after hatching. Each pair raises a single brood per year.

IUCN status - LC (Least concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is reported to be common over most of its range. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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