Chestnut Backed Owlet
Sri Lanka Chestnut-backed "Owlet Glaucidium castanonotum" (Blyth, 1849)
The Chestnut-backed Owlet is among the more rarely seen of Sri Lanka’s endemic birds. It inhabits dense, low to mid country wet zone forests keeping largely to the upper storey of the canopy. It is largely restricted to a few undisturbed forest patches and has been recorded at altitudes up to around 2,000 meters.
These small owls, just 19 – 21 cm in length (the sexes are alike), have a distinctive call sounding rather like k’raw…k’raw…k’raw…k’raw… k’raw, the syllables slowing slightly as the call progresses. They are crepuscular as well as nocturnal hunters, feeding mainly on insects — but, like many other owls, probably also prey on rodents and similar-sized animals.
Sri Lanka Chestnut-backed Owlet Glaucidium castanonotum