Sri Lanka bay owl

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Sri Lanka bay owl
Ceylon Bay Owl Abhilash Arjunan.jpg
Song of P. a. ripleyi
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Strigiformes
Family: Tytonidae
Genus: Phodilus
P. assimilis
Binomial name
Phodilus assimilis
Hume, 1877

The Sri Lanka bay owl (Phodilus assimilis) is a species of bay owl in the family Tytonidae. It is endemic to the island of Sri Lanka and the Western Ghats in Kerala, South Western India. It was considered a subspecies of the Oriental bay owl (Phodilus badius) but is now treated as a full species due to its distinctive call, plumage and disjunct distribution.

Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist montane forests and subtropical or tropical high-altitude grassland. It is threatened by habitat loss.


The Sri Lanka bay owl was described by the English politician and naturalist Allan Octavian Hume in 1873 but it was only in 1877 that he introduced the binomial name Phodilus assimilis.[2][3] The genus name Phodilus is from the Ancient Greek phōs for "light" or "daylight" and deilos for "timid" or "cowardly". The specific epithet assimilis is the Latin for "similar" or "like".[4]

It was earlier considered a subspecies of the Oriental bay owl Phodilus badius, but now treated as a separate species based on differences in call and plumage.[5][6]

Two subspecies are recognised:[7][8]

The Indian subspecies is found along the Western Ghats mostly south of Goa but as they are secretive, records are rare and their presence has often been detected only upon the discovery of injured individuals. The breeding season is in winter when the distinctive song consisting of multiple whistles with inflections can be heard.[10][11]



  1. ^ BirdLife International (2016). "Phodilus assimilis". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2016: e.T22725132A94886019. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22725132A94886019.en. Retrieved 15 January 2018.
  2. ^ Hume, Allan Octavian (1871). "Notes". Stray Feathers. 5: 137–138.
  3. ^ Hume, Allan Octavian (1873). "Phodilus badius". Stray Feathers. 1: 429.
  4. ^ Jobling, James A. (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. pp. 57, 303. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  5. ^ Rasmussen, P.C. (2005). "Biogeographic and conservation implications of revised species limits and distributions of South Asian birds". Zoologische Mededelingen Leiden. 79: 137–146.
  6. ^ Rasmussen, Pamela C.; Anderton, John C. (2005). Birds of South Asia. The Ripley Guide. Volume 2. Washington D.C. and Barcelona: Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and Lynx Edicions. p. 235. ISBN 978-84-87334-66-5.
  7. ^ del Hoyo, J.; Collar, N.; Marks, J.S. (2017). del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J.; Christie, D.A.; de Juana, E. (eds.). "Sri Lanka Bay-owl (Phodilus assimilis)". Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
  8. ^ Gill, Frank; Donsker, David, eds. (2017). "Owls". World Bird List Version 7.3. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
  9. ^ Hussain, S.A.; Khan, M.A.R. (1978). "A new subspecies of Bay Owl (Phodilus badius) from Peninsular India". Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society. 74: 334–336.
  10. ^ Raman, T.R. Shankar (2001). "Observations on the Oriental Bay Owl Phodilus badius and range extension in the Western Ghats, India" (PDF). Forktail. 17: 110–111.
  11. ^ Mudappa, Divya C. (1998). "Sight record of the Oriental Bay Owl (Phodilus badius ripleyi) in the Anaimalai Hills, southern Western Ghats, India". Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society. 95: 343.

External links[edit]