Oriental bay owl (Phodilus badius)

GenusPhodilus (1)
SizeLength: 23 – 33 cm (2)
Weight255 – 308 g (2)

The Oriental bay owl is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List 2004 (1) and is listed under Appendix II of CITES (3).

This small to medium sized owl is distinctive in its strikingly marked, angular face - a dark V-shaped marking running down the centre of the face, between the eyes, contrasts with the pale chestnut brown colouration (2). The head is broad and there is no narrowing at the neck. The legs are long and fully feathered (4). The underside of the body has dark flecks and the back and short, rounded wings are dark chestnut brown, spotted with black and yellow (2). The ears are slightly tufted (5).

Found in South and Southeast Asia (1).

Inhabits woodland, plantations and mangrove swamps at altitudes of up to 2200 m (2).

The breeding season of the Oriental bay owl varies with region. It nests in hollow trees and tree stumps, laying between three and five eggs. Prey is located using extremely sensitive hearing and consists of small mammals, small birds, reptiles, frogs and insects. The Oriental bay owl has several calls, including whistles, hoots, wails and screams (2).

The Oriental bay owl is thought to have low population numbers but is not currently considered to be threatened (2). International trade in this species is regulated by Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species which requires permits for export of the owl or its body parts (3).

No conservation action has been targeted at this species.

For further information on this species, see:

For more information on this and other bird species please see:

This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact:

  1. IUCN Red List (January, 2005)
  2. World Owl Trust (September, 2010)
  3. CITES (January, 2005)
  4. Aberdeen University Natural History Centre (January, 2005)
  5. Indian Institute of Science – Centre for Ecological Sciences (January, 2005)