Saturday, April 19, 2014

Two of a kind

When a person starts birding, many long believed 'truths' turn out to be not so true. One of them is about owls. Most of us think of them as night birds; they may be mostly nocturnal, but there are many of them who are quite active during the day. Though first-timers might find it unbelievable, it is quite common to see owls during the daytime, even in the middle of the city. 

One of the common species of owl is the Spotted Owlet (Athene brama). It is a small bird, and is unfazed by the presence of humans nearby. You can spot them on the IIT Madras campus, on the golf course at the Cosmopolitan Club and several other places that are overrun with people. The two of them in this picture - can you spot them? - are at the TANUVAS' Research Station at Kattupakkam, on the outskirts of Chennai.

Athene brama usually nests in holes - that should be enough of a clue for you to click through the picture and spot the Owlets!