No. 77 BIS. Athene Castaneonotus.* BLYTH.
THE CEYLON OWLET.
This species, first discriminated by Mr. Blyth, is admitted by Professor Schlegel to be distinct from A. Castanoptera Horsfield, (No. 77 tris.). Mr. Layard gives the following account, of its " manners and customs," (Ann. and Mag. of N. H., 1858, XII., pp. 105, 106.) " Its hoot is not unlike the cry of the cuckoo, though, more shrill and abrupt; indeed when I first heard it one morning, I thought it was the note of our annual visitor, the European Cuckoo. It hoots as late as 9 or 10 o'clock in the morning, in shady situations ; is silent during the heat and glare of the day, but begins again at 4 or 5 p. M. It is most on the alert during moonlight nights, feeding on Coleoptera and geckoids, securing the latter while creeping up the bark of trees, seizing them in its claws, it sees very clearly by day, being even then most difficult to approach.''
I have had no opportunities myself of observing this species, which seems to be confined to Ceylon, although Mr. Blyth suggests, that this may be the species which Dr. Heifer noticed under the name of Castanoptera as occurring in Tenasserim.
* The following is Mr. Blyth's original description. " Entire mantle and wings deep chestnut rufous, more or less obscurely barred with subdued dusky. Primaries, light dusky, faintly barred with rufous on the inner webs, and with a series of spots of bright rufous on the outer webs. Tail dusky, with eight or nine, narrow, white, or whitish bars, the last of these terminal; head and neck closely barred with bright rufescent on a dusky ground, contrasting strongly with the rufous of the back ; breast nearly similar but the colors deeper. Abdomen, white, with longitudinal dusky streaks; vent and lower tail coverts, pure white; bill, pale yellow: irides, red brown ? Wing, about 5."