Monday, September 12, 2011

Owls In The House

Well, not exactly in the house but you get the picture. I guess it's becoming a custom that every September when I'm spending my summer vacation at home in Chiang Mai, I'd have to take photos of the Asian Barred-Owlets (Glaucidium cuculoides) around my house. This time I counted at least 3 individuals calling from different directions around my house. At least one of them actually stays in my house area. I often hear its call coming from the big tamarind tree in front of my house. Everytime it shows up, the Streak-eared Bulbuls and the Olive-backed Sunbirds always go crazy. These birds would suddenly go and mob the owl. Sometimes the tiny Scarlet-backed Flowerpeckers and the noisy Little Spiderhunter also join the gang.

Asian Barred-Owlets (Glaucidium cuculoides)

Last year I even took a series of shots just from my bedroom window. The year before that, I got it in my front yard. This year with a new set of equipment, I didn't only take photos of the bird, but I also took many videos of it. So below are some of the videos I took. The first one shows the bird preening on a tamarind branch at close range. The second one shows the same bird with a male Olive-backed Sunbird which was trying to mob it. The male sunbird is now having a nest hanging just above my door. It must've been trying so hard to protect its nest.



Few days ago I heard a bird calling from a tree behind my house. I quickly grabbed my equipment and tried using playback. The bird responded and flew into a tamarind tree in front of me. It then changed its perch a few times inside the tree before coming out to perch near the treetop. After a while, it began to call. The call it gave was a soft long thrilling call, which I guess is similar to the song of the passerines. Normally it would give a haunted, very loud and alert call which can really creep you up at night. Videos below show the bird while it's calling. Don't forget to switch to HD 1080p mode!

Its transparent nictitating membrane (or third eyelid) can be seen in the left photo

The bird was on the same perch for about half an hour,
so I could even get some of its stretching shots.


5 comments:

Phil said...

Nice video of the owl Ayuwat. It seems to visibly use its throat to make the call more vibrato and maybe louder? I'll bet its a bit spooky when dark and often mistaken for frogs? Also the barred plumage is very effective in hiding the bird against those fern like leaves.

Stu said...

That Owl is pretty cute...........

Ayuwat Jearwattanakanok said...

Thanks a lot Phil and Stu!
Yes, the bird only uses its throat to produce the call. And of course, it can be spooky at night....

Anonymous said...

Wonderful series of photos well composed in the green. Russell

Chris said...

Wow that's probably really cool to get such a bird around your house. I agree with Stu, it is quite cute and you got nice shots of it... I guess you can probably get even more of them ;-)