Strix javanica, Gm.
60. :- Jerdon's Birds of India, Vol. I, p. 117; Butler, Guzerat; Stray Feathers, Vol III, p. 449; Deccan, Stray Feathers, Vol. IX, p. 375; Murray's Vertebrate Zoology of Sind, p. 101; Strix indica, Blyth; Hume's Scrap Book, p. 342.
THE INDIAN SCREECH OWL.
Length, 13 to 15 ; expanse, 37 to 43 ; wing, 11 to 12 ; tail, 5.75 to 6.2 ; tarsus, 2.5 to 2.8; bill from gape, 1.5 to 1.75.
Above, pale yellow-buff, beautifully mottled with light grey, each feather tipped with a white spot, edged darker; quills and tail darker and somewhat fulvous, with distinct mottled bands and specks between them ; disc white, with a patch of rufous at the inner corner of the eye; ruff yellow and brown ; all beneath, including the under wing-coverts, white in some, pale yellowish-buff in others; the feathers of the breast and abdomen with small black specks and spots.
The tarsus is feathered to the feet, but the feathers become very sparse and bristly towards the latter, and are little more than bristles at the foot; the toes are fleshy or dirty white, or light-brown with a pinkish tinge, thinly covered on the wliole upper surface with whitish bristles; the claws horny-brown, tinged only with brown on the ridges; bill slightly yellowish-white, faintly tinged with pinkish towards the cere, which is fleshy; irides brown, sometimes almost black.
The Indian Screech Owl occurs throughout the region, but is nowhere common, except perhaps in the Deccan.
It is a permanent resident, and breeds from February to June, in holes of trees, rocks, and similar situations; the eggs, three or four in number are less spherical than those of Owls usually are, measuring 175 inches in length by l-3 in breadth ; they are white with a creamy tinge.