Order: Strigiformes

Family: Strigidae

Scientific name: Ninox scutulata, Raffles, 1822

IUCN Red list status-Least Concern

Did you know?

  1. Brown Hawk Owl is also known as Brown Boobook.


The Brown Hawk Owl is 25 – 35 cms long and weighs 170 to 220 Gms. They have dark brown round head. There is a white patch on the forehead. They have brownish upperparts and a long barred tail. The under parts of the hawk-owl are whitish with bold reddish brown streaks and blotches. The under tail is pale gray with darker bars. The under tail coverts are white. The bill is small and pale gray. The irises, legs and feet are yellow. Both Sexes look similar.


The diet of Brown Hawk Owl consists mainly of large insects, small mammals, birds, frogs and lizards are their primary food. These species are highly nocturnal and forage time is night. It is done solitarily or in pairs.


The Brown Hawk Owl species have moderate forest dependence. The habitat includes forests, foothill forests, rural gardens, pasturelands, agricultural fields, plantations, urban areas, well wooded areas, groves etc. In India, it is distributed throughout the union. It is also found in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Andaman & Nicobar Islands.

Reproductive Behaviour

The breeding season of Brown Hawk Owl is from March to June. They are generally monogamous and cavity nesters. They nest in tree holes and normally three to five white are laid. Incubation of 23-24 days and neonatal care is shared by both parent birds.


The call is a repeated mellow, hooting “whoo-wup…whoo-wup” sound.

Related Species and Sub Species

  • Andaman Hawk Owl (Ninox affinis).
  • Northern Boobook (Ninox japonica).
  • Chocolate Boobook (Ninox randi).
  • Ninox scutulata rexpimenti of Nicobar Islands.
  • Ninox scutulata hirsuta of southern India and Sri Lanka.
  • Ninox scutulata lugubris of northern and central India, including west Assam.

Migratory Behaviour

Common Resident