During his regular morning walks in the Central Catchment Forest in February 2008, Johnny Wee had a number of surprise encounters with the Collared Scops Owl (Otus bakkamoena). Each time the encounter was in a different location, perching on a branch of a tree and staring at him. He did not have his usual photographic gear with him the first time and could not record his sighting. Other times when he was prepared, the owl flew off as soon as he approached. He was lucky on 15th February when he suddenly saw the “cute little owl” staring at him at around 0900 hours. This time he had his camera with him and is sharing one of his images with us here (above).
The Collared Scops Owl is a common resident found in forests, wooded areas, parks and even in urban areas. This small, stocky bird, only about 23 cm high, is often heard but seldom seen.
An earlier post reported the failed nesting of the owl in Mount Faber due to flooding of its nest that was built in the depression of an angsana (Pterocarpus indicus) branch fork.
As with most tropical small owls, very little is known of its behaviour. Nocturnal in habits, it has been seen dust- and water-bathing during the day.