687. TENGMALM'S OWL.
Nyctala tengmalmi (Gmel.), Syst. Nat. i. p. 291 (1788) ; (Naum.), i. p. 500. Taf. 48, figs. 2, 3 ; (Gould), B. of E. i. pl. 49 ; (id.) B. of Gt. Brit. i. pl. 36 ; (Hewitson), i. p. 66, pl. xix. fig. 2 ; Newton, i. p. 154 ; Dresser, v. p. 319, pl. 313 ; (Audubon), B. of. Am. pl. 380 ; Sharpe, Cat. B. Br. Mus. ii. p. 284 ; Tacz. F. O. Sib. O. p. 133 Saunders, p. 299 ; Lilford, i. p. 89, pl. 43 ; Ridgw. p. 260 ; N. dasypus (Bechst.), Naturg. Deutschl. ii. p. 972 (1805) ; N. richardsoni (Bp.), Comp. List. p. 7. (1838).
Chouctte Tengmalm, French ; Rauhfusskauz, German ; Lilla Skovugle, Dan. ; Perlugle, Norweg. ; Perluggla, Swed. ; Helmipollo, Pikka-pissi, Finn. ; Sytsch-rutschnoi, Russ.
Male ad. (Sweden). Upper parts dark umber brown, on the head spotted and on the rest of the upper parts blotched with white ; tail with five bars of white spots ; facial disk dull white with a dark outer ring ; under parts white mottled with reddish brown, the middle of the abdomen nearly white ; legs densely feathered, whitish mottled or speckled with brown bill dirty yellow ; iris bright yellow. Culmen 0.7, wing 6.7, tail 4.40, tarsus 0.75 inch. Female similar but larger. The young bird is darker, and the nestling is sooty umber above, slightly spotted with white and with dull yellowish brown below.
Hab. Scandinavia and N. Russia almost to the northern forest limit, south to the Pyrenees, Alps, Carpathians, and the Caspian ; Siberia east to the Baikal, south to the Altai ; not found in Kamchatka of irregular occurrence in Great Britain ; N. America south to the United States. Is strictly nocturnal and inhabits the forests throughout its range.
Its cry is a single melancholy call uttered at short intervals and heard only at night. Its food consists of small mammals and birds, and also, it is said, of beetles. In its general habits it is bold and fearless. It breeds early, using a hollow tree for the purposes of nidification; but not making any nest, and in April, May, or June, according to latitude, deposits 5 to 7 pure white, rather fine grained eggs, which in size average about 1.31 by 1.05.
A peculiarity in this owl is that the ear-orifices and also the configuration of the skull are asymmetrical.
687. Nyctala tengmalmi
687. TENGMALM'S OWL.