1155. Photodilus assimilis.
The Ceylon Bay Owl.
Phodilus badius, Hume, S. F. i, p. 429; Whyte, S. F. v, p. 201; nec Strix badia, Horsf. Phodilus assimilis, Hume, S. F. v, p. 138; id. Cat. no. 62 bis; Whyte, S. F. v, p. 353; Legge, Birds Ceyl. p. 161, pl. v.
This is very similar to the last, but darker above, the chestnut colour not being uniform on the crown, but marked with black shaft-lines, enclosing pale rufous spots, and on the upper parts generally the chestnut is much mottled with black, the buff on the back and scapulars is more marked, and there is a large buff patch formed by the median wing-coverts; the black bars on the quills and tail-feathers are more numerous and extend quite across the feathers, and are nearly or quite as broad as the chestnut bars intervening; the inner webs of the primaries are brown instead of chestnut; the patch on the wing-lining at the base of the primaries is dark brown, and the spots on the lower surface are double, one behind the other on the shaft of each feather.
Bill greenish white; iris dark brown; feet pale whitish green, claws pale ash ( Whyte) ; cere probably olivaceous (Legge).
Dimensions about the same as those of P. badius.
Distribution. Only found as yet in the Ceylon hills, near Kandy, where this bird appears rare, as very few specimens have hitherto been obtained.
Habits, &c. Like P. badius this is a thoroughly nocturnal species, living in dense forest. It appears to breed about the end of the year; makes a nest of dry twigs, moss, and feathers in a hollow tree, and lays, in the only instance yet recorded, 3 eggs.