(Last Updated on : 31/10/2015)
Mottled Wood Owl is an Indian Bird
that bears a scientific name "Strix ocellata
" is a species of large owl found in India. They are found in gardens and thin deciduous forests adjacent to dry thorn forests or farmland.
Detection of Mottled Wood Owl
Mottled Wood Owls 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. Their large size, lack of "ear" tufts and the concentric barring on the face make them easy to identify.
Structure of Mottled Wood Owl
Mottled Wood Owl lacks the ear tufts and is mottled and vermiculated in reddish brown and white. The face disc is marked with fine concentric black and white barring. The sexes are alike. The chin is white. The eyelid is orange and the iris is dark brown. The tail is barred narrowly in brown and black. The concentric barring on the face and mottled crown separates it from the brown wood owl in southern India.
Concentration of Mottled Wood Owl
Mottled Wood Owl is found in the plains in gardens and lightly wooded habitats. They roost in trees during the day choosing a branch with dense foliage. An old specimen from Lahore is noted but no records in recent times from Pakistan. The distribution extends east to West Bengal.
Behaviour of Mottled Wood Owl
Mottled wood owl roost in the day, usually in pairs. When disturbed they may fly in bright sunshine although they choose to shelter within a dense grove of trees, they produce an eerie chuhua-aa call with a quaver in the second note.
Call of Mottled Wood Owl
This call of Mottled Wood Owl is an antiphonal duet of the male and female. The male calls one or two times followed by the female's shorter and less tremulous version. The calling is more frequent in November when mottled wood owl begins to breed.
Nests of Mottled Wood Owl
Most nests of Mottled Wood Owl are found from February to April. They also produce a single note hoot and a screech much like that of the barn owl. The nest is in a tree hollow in which two to three white eggs are laid.
Feedings of Mottled Wood Owl
Mottled Wood Owls feed on palm squirrels, mice and other small mammals.