Order: Strigiformes

Family: Strigidae

Scientific name: Glaucidium radiatum, Tickell, 1833

IUCN Red list status- Least Concern

Did you know?

  1. Jungle Owlet is also known as Barred Jungle Owlet.


The Jungle Owlet is a small owlet measuring 20 to 22 cm in length and 90 to 120 Gms in weight. The adult has rounded head and fine barring all over the body. The head, back and wings are brownish gray with white barring. The facial disc is indistinct and barred with brown and cream. They have distinct white eyebrows. The tail is blackish brown with narrow white barring. The under parts are paler with broad brownish gray barring. The bill is pale gray and curved, irises are yellow and legs are pale gray.


The diet of Jungle Owlet consists mainly of insects. Grasshoppers, rats, snakes, frogs, other rodents, lizards, bird eggs and nestlings are their primary food. They are mostly crepuscular, being active mainly at dawn and dusk. The main foraging time is an hour before sunrise and an hour after sunset. Occasionally they hunt during the day also.


These jungle owlet species have moderate forest dependence. The habitat include agricultural fields, rural gardens, plantations, wooded country, dry forests, secondary forests, shrub lands,  scrub forests, wetlands and riversides. In India it is distributed throughout the union except Rajasthan and the corresponding drier parts. They are also found in Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Myanmar.

Reproductive Behaviour

The breeding season is from March to May. The nesting sites are tree cavities. These birds are monogamous and territorial. The nest is an unlined tree hollow. Normally 2-4 eggs are laid. Both the parents incubate the eggs and take care of hatchlings.


The call is a loud “kao-kao-kao” followed by “kao-kuk-kao-kuk-kao-kuk”.

Related Species and Sub Species

  • Collared Owlet (Glaucidium brodiei).
  • Pearl Spotted Owlet (Glaucidium perlatum).
  • Red Chested Owlet (Glaucidium tephronotum).
  • Glaucidium radiatum radiatum of S W India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and western Myanmar.
  • Glaucidium radiatum malabaricum of distributed in southwest India.

Migratory Behaviour

Common Resident