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Brown Boobook - BirdForum Opus

(Redirected from Brown Hawk-Owl)
Subspecies burmanica
Photo by cskhaw
Pedu Lake, Kedah State, Northern Malaysian Peninsula, November 2004

Alternative name: Brown Hawk-Owl

Ninox scutulata


27 - 33cm (10½-13 in); A medium sized owl which resembles a hawk with its long tail and wings.
Face dark with a small white patch between the yellow eyes. Plumage dark brown, barred tail, buffish-white to uniform dark belly, according to subspecies.
Sexes similar, but male smaller than female.

Similar Species

Told from other Ninox Owls by lack of white spots on back and dark head.


Asia. From southeast Siberia over Manchuria, Korea, Japan, east and south China to Indochina (Burma, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia), Malaysia, Borneo, Sumatra, the Philippines and Java. Also in India and Sri Lanka.

A record of a dead bird in Australia.


Taxonomy of this species needs further study.

Northern Boobook, Chocolate Boobook and Hume's Hawk-Owl were formerly included in this species.


This is a polytypic species consisting of 9 subspecies[1]

  • N. s. lugubris:
  • Northern India to western Assam and central peninsular India
  • N. s. hirsuta:
  • N. s. burmanica:
  • N. s. palawanensis:
  • N. s. scutulata:
  • N. s. javanensis:
  • N. s. borneensis:
  • Borneo and North Natuna Islands


Forest. Wide variety of different forest types troughout range (e.g. rainforest, deciduous, evergreen, coniferous forest, even plantations, parks and suburbs.


Nocturnal. Roosts by day singly or in pairs in thick canopy.


Feeds mainly on insects (dragonflies, moths), catched in the air. Takes also crabs, lizards, amphibians, small birds, small mammals (including bats). Hunts in clearings, forest edges or cultivated area.


Nests in a tree hole. Lays 2 - 5 eggs.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2015. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2015, with updates to August 2015. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/

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