Mottled Wood Owl

The Mottled wood owl, with its exquisite feathers and piercing eyes, is a creature to behold. Its wings, draped in a cloak of intricate patterns, seem to shimmer in the moonlight. A hush falls over the forest as this majestic bird takes flight, gliding effortlessly through the trees.

As the night deepens, the Mottled wood owl emerges from its roost, its call a haunting melody that echoes through the canopy. Its eyes, wide and alert, scan the darkness for prey, its talons sharp and deadly.

Serial NumberCharacteristicDescription
1.Common nameMottled Wood Owl
2.Scientific NameStrix ocellata
3.ColourBrown and grey with mottled patterns on the feathers
4.Average length in cms40 – 50 cm
5.Average Height in cms30 – 40 cm
6.Type of birdForest bird / Bird of prey
7.Found in India in statesFound throughout India, with higher concentrations in central and southern regions
8.HabitatDense forests, wooded areas near water sources
9.StatusLeast Concern


The Mottled wood owl is a stunning bird, with a range of physical features that make it stand out in the forest. It is a medium-sized owl, measuring between 14 and 18 inches in height and weighing between 1 and 2 pounds. Its wingspan can reach up to 3.5 feet, allowing it to soar through the trees with ease.

One of the most striking features of the Mottled wood owl is its intricate patterning. Its feathers are a mix of dark browns, tans, and grays, arranged in a mottled pattern that helps it blend into the bark of trees. Its facial disc is a pale, creamy color, with a distinctive black rim that surrounds its large, round eyes.

Speaking of its eyes, they are a piercing yellow color that seems to glow in the darkness of the forest. Its pupils are large, allowing it to see in low-light conditions, which is essential for a nocturnal bird like the Mottled wood owl.

The beak of the Mottled wood owl is sharp and curved, designed to tear into the flesh of its prey. Its talons are equally impressive, with long, sharp claws that allow it to grab and hold onto its victims.

Habitat and Food

The Mottled wood owl is a species of owl that is native to the forests of India. It is a bird that is typically found in areas with dense vegetation, including tropical rainforests and deciduous forests.

Within these forests, the Mottled wood owl prefers to roost and nest in tree cavities, often selecting large trees with plenty of foliage for protection. It is a nocturnal bird, meaning that it is most active at night and rests during the day in its roost. It is known for being a solitary bird, although it has been known to form small family groups during the breeding season.

In terms of its diet, the Mottled wood owl is a carnivore, feeding primarily on small mammals, birds, reptiles, and insects. It is an opportunistic hunter, meaning that it will eat whatever prey is available to it. Its sharp talons and powerful beak make it an efficient predator, able to catch and kill prey quickly and efficiently.

One interesting aspect of the Mottled wood owl’s eating habits is that it has been known to feed on other owl species. This behavior is known as intraguild predation, and it occurs when two or more predator species compete for the same prey.

Nesting and Nurturing

The Mottled wood owl is a species of owl that is known for its unique nesting habits. It is a bird that typically nests in tree cavities, often selecting large, mature trees with thick foliage for protection. The female Mottled wood owl lays its eggs in the nesting cavity, which is lined with leaves and other soft materials for insulation.

The Mottled wood owl typically lays between 2 and 4 eggs per clutch, with an average of 3 eggs. The eggs are a creamy white color, and they are oval-shaped with a slightly pointed end. The female owl incubates the eggs for approximately 30-35 days before they hatch.

Once the eggs hatch, the baby Mottled wood owls are born blind and helpless, relying on their parents for food and warmth. The parents take turns feeding and caring for the young, bringing them small mammals, birds, and insects to eat. The parents also use their bodies to keep the young owls warm, huddling together in the nesting cavity to provide insulation.

As the baby Mottled wood owls grow, they become more active and start to develop their wings and feathers. They also begin to explore the surrounding area, taking short flights outside of the nesting cavity under the watchful eye of their parents.

IUCN Status

The Mottled wood owl is classified as a species of Least Concern on the IUCN Red List. This means that the population of the species is stable and not currently threatened with extinction. However, as with many species of wildlife, the Mottled wood owl is impacted by habitat loss and degradation due to human activities such as deforestation and logging. Conservation efforts are ongoing to protect the habitats of the Mottled wood owl and ensure that its population remains healthy and stable.

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