Jungle Owlet

Jungle owlet   Glaucidium radiatum  


  • Glaucidium : Greek for little owl derived from glaux- owl
  • Radiatum: Latin word for furnished with rays

Vernacular Names : Hindi: Jangli chugad, U.P.: Kala khusat, Ben: Chhota kalpencha, Guj: Vana chibri, Van chibari, Ta: Chinna aandai, Te: Adavi pagadigante, Mal: Chemban nathu, Sinh: Punchi bassa 

Distribution in India: Wide spread resident except for North West and North East of India.

Description:  Size of 20–22 cm; wt. of 88–114 g. It is a small, squat owlet lacking occipital “eye” spots. The facial disc is barred brown and cream, with distinct white eyebrows, chin and moustachial streak. It is dark brown above, wings are more rufous, all barred uniformly with pale rufous; below parts are barred dark olive-brown and white. It has a rufous patch on underwing conspicuous in flight. The irides are bright yellow; cere is bluish; bill is greenish-yellow to yellowish-grey; toes are greenish-yellow; soles are yellowish. The race malaba­ricum is much darker and more rufous overall than nominate.

Habitat: It is found in dense and secondary deciduous jungle, foothill and submontane forest, scrub and bamboo; sometimes near cultivation; also secondary growth from cleared forest. It avoids wet forest. It is from lowlands to 2000 m.

Food Habits:  It primarily eats insects, including beetles, locusts, grasshoppers and cicadas; also lizards, rodents and small birds. It is largely crepuscular; most active hour before dusk and hour after sunrise. It has a swift flight, direct, similar to small hawk .

Breeding Habits: They breed in Mar–Jun. They nest in unlined tree cavity. They lay a clutch of 2–4 eggs.