Today while hiking, I spotted this little owl camouflaged in the woods. The profused branches stealthed the little bird from casual eyesight. The Collared owlet (Glaucidium brodiei) also known as the Collared Pygmy Owl is the smallest Owl in Asia. This cute little bird of prey can be easily identified by the help of eye spots on each side of the nape. It is also known as “occipital face”. This diurnal bird makes a distinct call, also called as mellow whistling.
Although the natural habitat of the owl is mainly submontane and montane forests, it prefers habitat varying from evergreen forests, forest edges, mixed deciduous-evergreen forests with oak, rhododendron and pine and often in open woodlands with scrubs and sometimes around agricultural lands. They don’t create their own nest but are secondary cavity-nesters. They nest in hollows or chambers created by woodpeckers and barbets.
This small hillside of Landour, Mussoorie is bustling with different species of Himalayan birds and animals. The rich biodiversity and the natural environment of the area is remarkable and one can experience spotting wildlife in most unexpected terrains and mountain tracts. While human beings are under lockdown during corona pandemic, the wildlife is thriving in different parts of the world.
Even the species is under Least concern status of IUCN conservation status, it is facing constant threat from habitat destruction, deforestation, forest fire and agricultural malpractices.
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