Oriental bay owl

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Oriental Bay Owl
Oriental bay owl.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom Information
Domain Eukaryota
Kingdom Animalia
Subkingdom Bilateria
Branch Deuterostomia
Phylum Information
Phylum Chordata
Sub-phylum Vertebrata
Infraphylum Gnathostomata
Class Information
Superclass Tetrapoda
Class Aves
Sub-class Neornithes
Infra-class Neoaves
Order Information
Order Strigiformes
Family Information
Family Tytonidae
Sub-family Phodilinae
Genus Information
Genus Phodilus
Species Information
Species P. badius
Population statistics
Conservation status Least concern[1]

The Oriental bay owl (Phodilus badius) is a species of owl found in much of the tropical forested areas of southern and southeast Asia and Indonesia.


Oriental bay owls are medium-sized owls, up to 12 inches in total length. Females are slightly larger than males. Coloration is a light or buff chestnut brown above, with lighter tan to white on the chest, which is marked with sparsely-placed black spots. Like their relatives the barn owls, Oriental bay owls bear a heart-shaped facial disk, whose distinctive characteristic is the presence of a "forehead" of feathers jutting down to the beak, giving the disk a "V"-shape. The upper points of the disk form the ear tufts above each eye.

Bay owls are completely nocturnal, spending their days hidden in the trees; by night the birds are active, hunting small rodents, birds, reptiles, frogs, and insects. They nest in tree cavities or hollows, rearing up to five chicks.

Oriental bay owls are found in dense tropical and semi-tropical forests, into mountainous areas up to 6,000 feet. They have also been seen in wooded areas between cultivated field and rice paddies.


The Oriental bay owl consists of six subspecies, of which one was known only through a single specimen recovered on Samar Island, Philippines. Some authorities have placed the Sri Lanka bay owl (Phodilus assimilis) as an additional subspecies.

  • Belitung Bay Owl, P. b. parvus
  • Natuna Bay Owl, P. b. arixuthus
  • Peninsular Bay Owl, P. b. ripleyi
  • Philippine bay owl, P. B. riverae (extinct)
  • Sikkim Bay Owl, P. b. saturatus
  • Southeast Asian Bay Owl, P. b. badius