1162. Syrnium seloputo.
The Malayan Wood-Owl.
? Strix sinensis, Lath. Gen. Syn., Supp. ii,p. 368; id. Ind. Orn. Suppl. p. xvi (1801). Strix seloputo, Horsf. Tr. Linn. Soc. xiii, p. 140 (1821). Strix pagodarum, Temm. Pl. Col. pi. 230 (1823). Syrnium seloputo, Horsf. & M. Cat. i, p. 84; Hume, S. F. ii, p. 150 , iii, p. 37 ; id. Cat. no. 65 his; Blyth Sf Wald. Birds Burm. p. 67; Hume & Dav. S. F. vi, p. 28. Bulaca sinensis, Blyth, Ibis, 1865, p. 29; 1866, p. 253; Hume, Rough Notes, p. 357. Syrnium sinense, Sharpe, Cat. B. M. ii, p. 261; Oates, B. B. ii, p. 164; id. in Humes N. & E. 2nd ed. iii, p. 114.
Coloration. Facial disk, including lores and forehead, dull ochreous buff; ruff narrow, dark brown; upper parts chocolate-brown, darker on the head and nape and spotted throughout with white spots and imperfect bars of irregular size and shape, more or less surrounded by black rims; outer scapulars white, with brown crossbars ; quills and tail-feathers brown, with pale cross-bands and tips, the cross-bands growing broader and becoming buff on the inner webs of the quills towards the base; chin buff, middle of throat white; lower surface from throat, with sides of neck and under wing-coverts, white, with dark brown cross-bars, narrow on the abdomen and close together on the legs.
Young with the upper plumage mostly banded white and dark brown.
Bill and cere greenish black; irides dark brown; claws and visible portion of toes horny (Davison).
Length about 18.5; tail 7.5; wing 13.5 ; tarsus 2.25 ; bill from gape 1.5.
Distribution. Pegu, Tenasserim, Siam, Cochin China, the Malay Peninsula, Java, and probably Sumatra and Borneo. The reported occurrence of this Owl in Assam and the Nieobar Islands is probably due to error.
Habits, &c. This is more of a forest bird than S. ocellalum, but keeps similarly to large trees, and the young birds were found on bare wood in the fork of a peepul tree by Oates in March and April. The hoot is said by Davison to be very peculiar, commencing with a sort of rolling hoo-hoo-hoo and ending with a prolonged and deep-drawn hoo. A bird killed by this naturalist had fed upon beetles.
This bird does not agree well with Latham's description of Strix sinensis, and as it is not known to occur in China the name is objectionable.