Brown boobook

As dusk falls upon the forests of Asia, a mystical creature emerges from the shadows – the Brown Boobook. With its piercing yellow eyes and russet plumage, it casts a spell of enchantment upon anyone who has the privilege to behold its elusive beauty.

This small owl, standing at just 25 centimeters tall, possesses a voice that carries across the woods, echoing like a haunting melody through the night. Its distinctive call is a signature tune that resonates with the mysteries of the wild and the secrets of the nocturnal world.

Serial NumberCharacteristicDescription
1Common nameBrown Boobook
2Scientific nameNinox scutulata
3ColourBrown plumage with dark spots and streaks
4Average length in cms26-34 cm
5Average height in cms20-25 cm
6Type of birdForest bird / Bird of prey / Nocturnal
7Found in India in statesThroughout India except for higher Himalayas
8HabitatForests, woodlands, parks, and gardens
9StatusLeast Concern


The Brown Boobook, also known as the Brown Hawk Owl, is a small owl species found across Asia. With a height of approximately 25 centimeters and a wingspan of around 60 centimeters, it is one of the smaller species of owl.

The Brown Boobook’s plumage is predominantly brown, with dark streaks and bars across its feathers. Its eyes are large and striking, with piercing yellow irises that contrast against its brown facial disk. The owl’s beak is sharp and curved, perfectly adapted for tearing apart prey.

In terms of its physical structure, the Brown Boobook has a round head with no ear tufts, and a compact, stocky body. Its wings are relatively short and rounded, with distinctive white spots visible in flight.

Despite its small size, the Brown Boobook is a formidable hunter, relying on its exceptional vision and acute hearing to locate prey in the dark. It’s unique coloration and physical features allow it to blend seamlessly into its forested habitat, making it a master of camouflage.

Habitat and Food

The Brown Boobook is a nocturnal bird species that inhabit a wide range of forested habitats throughout Asia, including the foothills of the Himalayas, tropical rainforests, and deciduous woodlands. It can also be found in urban areas, including parks and gardens, where there are suitable roosting sites and prey available.

As a carnivorous predator, the Brown Boobook feeds on a variety of prey, including small mammals, insects, reptiles, and occasionally other birds. Its hunting style is typically silent and swift, with the bird swooping down from its perch to snatch its prey with its sharp talons.

Nesting and Nurturing

The Brown Boobook is a cavity-nesting bird species that typically nest in tree hollows, crevices, or abandoned nests of other birds. They are monogamous birds, and during the breeding season, they establish territories and defend themselves aggressively against intruders.

The breeding season varies depending on the region, but typically, the female Brown Boobook lays between two to three eggs. The eggs are white and rounded, measuring approximately 38mm by 32mm. The incubation period lasts for around 27 to 28 days, with both parents taking turns incubating the eggs.

Once the eggs hatch, the chicks are covered in white down and are entirely dependent on their parents for food and protection. Both the male and female Brown Boobooks are responsible for feeding and caring for the young, bringing back prey to the nest to feed the chicks.

As the chicks grow, the parents gradually reduce their feeding, encouraging them to fledge and leave the nest. Typically, the chicks take around 28 to 32 days to fledge, after which they continue to be fed by their parents for a few more weeks.

The Brown Boobook is an attentive parent, and both parents participate equally in caring for their young. The family bond remains strong even after the chicks have fledged, with the young birds staying close to their parents for a while before striking out on their own.

IUCN Status

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species lists the Brown Boobook as a species of “Least Concern.” This means that the species is not currently at risk of extinction and is considered to have a stable population with no major threats or significant declines in numbers. However, like many bird species, the Brown Boobook may face threats from habitat loss and degradation due to human activities such as deforestation and urbanization. Conservation efforts aimed at protecting and restoring their forest habitats and raising awareness of their importance may help to ensure the continued survival of this fascinating owl species

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