Brown wood owl

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Brown Wood Owl
Brown wood 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 Strigidae
Sub-family Striginae
Genus Information
Genus Strix
Species Information
Species S. leptogrammica
Population statistics
Conservation status Least concern[1]


The brown wood owl is a medium-sized bird, about 13-17 inches in length, with a wingspan of up to 34 inches. The upper parts are a chestnut brown in color, and heavily-barred in dark brown to blackish. The primary flight feathers are barred chestnut and dark brown; the secondaries and wing-coverts are a reddish-yellow, barred with dark tawny-brown. Chest and belly are a cream color, densely marked in light brown to brown. Like other owls females are slightly larger than males.

The facial disc is reddish-yellow to rufus-brown, ringed with a black rim. The eyes are dark brown, surrounded by additional dark brown feathers that give them a much larger appearance. The gray to blue-gray beak is framed on either side by grayish feathers.


  • Strix leptogrammica bartelsi; Indonesia: Java.
  • Strix leptogrammica chaseni; Indonesia: Belitung Is.
  • Strix leptogrammica caligata; Hainan and Taiwan.
  • Strix leptogrammica indranee; southern India.
  • Strix leptogrammica laotiana; southern Laos to central Vietnam.
  • Strix leptogrammica leptogrammica; central and southern Borneo.
  • Strix leptogrammica maingayi; southern Burma; southern Thailand; Malay Peninsula.
  • Strix leptogrammica myrtha; Indonesia: Sumatra, Mentawai Is.
  • Strix leptogrammica newarensis; India: Himalayas, Jammu to Kashmir.
  • Strix leptogrammica niasensis; Indonesia: Nias Is.
  • Strix leptogrammica nyctiphasma; Indonesia: Banyak Is.
  • Strix leptogrammica ochrogenys; Sri Lanka.
  • Strix leptogrammica ticehursti; north and central Burma; southeastern China; northern and western Thailand; northern Laos and northern Vietnam.
  • Strix leptogrammica vaga; northern Borneo.

Range and habitat

Brown wood owls are found in southern and southeastern Asia, from India east into Burma, Thailand, Malaysia, and several islands of Indonesia. They inhabit dense tropical forests from the sea coast into lowlands and hilly areas not higher than 1,600 feet.


Little is known of brown wood owls due to the shy, retiring nature of the birds. When disturbed they compact their feathers to better resemble a stump on a branch. More often they are heard rather than seen, especially on a moonlit night, calling "who-whoowwwwooh" in under a second. Breeding is known only in southern India, when the season is January to March; two eggs are laid.


Despite being listed as "least concern" by the ICUN[2], the overall population of brown wood owls is suspected of declining, with habitat destruction by man as the cause.