1671. Otus bakkamoena lettia

(1671) Otus bakkamoena lettla (Hodgs.).
Otus bakkamoena lettia, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. iv, p. 427.
This little Scops Owl is found in the Himalayas from Kuman and Nepal to Eastern and Southern Assam, It is common in the Hill Tracts of Eastern Bengal and occurs over all the hill-ranges of Burma and in South peninsular Siam.
It is a forest Owlet and, in Assam, we found it kept almost exclusively to evergreen forest at all heights from the foot-hills up to 7,000 feet, occasionally also breeding in the plains. In the Himalayas it ascends as high as 8,000 feet, perhaps higher still.
I took many clutches of this bird’s eggs in the Cachar and Khasia Hills and also in Dibrugarh, in nearly every ease these being deposited in boles in trees. Generally the holes were natural ones in dead trees and stumps, 5 to 15 feet from the ground, but on one occasion in Lakhimpur I found it breeding in a deserted Woodpecker’s hole about 30 feet from the ground. There is, of course, no nest.
In Pegu Oatea found the birds breeding in the same sort of places but, occasionally, they select very curious sites. One pair of birds I found had made use of a hole in the base of a nest of some Eagle, probably I. nana plumbea. The nest was a very old disused one and in the base was a hole of some size, probably made by a squirrel or some other agent, and filled with grass. I saw the Owl come out and shot it and, upon further investigation, discovered five hard-set eggs.
Hume also had eggs sent to him which were taken “out of a narrow cleft (completely hidden by a small drooping shrub) in an over hanging precipice, in the valley of the Surjon, between Petoragurh and Almora in Kumaon. They were described as laid on a few small sticks, amongst which a few feathers were interspersed.”
In Assam all the eggs I found were laid in February, March and April, while in Burma Oates and Hopwood also obtained eggs in these months. The eggs sent to Hume were taken on the 22nd May.
Three or four eggs form the normal complete clutch, but I have twice seen five.
Thirty-four eggs average 32.3 x 28.1 mm. : maxima 34.0 x 29.5 and 33.3 x 29.9 mm. ; minima 29.2 x 27.0 and 30.1 x 26.4 mm.
I have once shot the male off the eggs and once trapped him on them so, presumably, he takes his share in the incubation. They are game little birds and fight pluckily in defence of their egga and, when handled, strike and hold with their claws almost as much as with their bills, a characteristic of all Owls.

The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 3. 1934.
Title in Book: 
1671. Otus bakkamoena lettia
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Burmese Collared Scops Owl
Collared Scops Owl
Otus lettia
Vol. 3
Term name: 

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