Why is the spotted owlet so called?

          Spotted owlets are very familiar to humans, who associate these birds with bad omens, mainly because of the noise they make. They are very noisy, making a variety of sounds like harsh chattering, squabbling and chuckling. They make this noise during the nights as well as during daytimes.

          These birds are not completely nocturnal, but are seen during the daytime also. They are greyish brown in colour, with yellow eyes. They are small and round, only as big as a myna. Their plumage is covered with white spots which gives them their name. These birds tend to keep close to human habitation and are found in open plains and foothills and even in cities. They build their nests in trees, walls and mountain cliffs. They stare at intruders if they are disturbed during their daytime activities. The usual diet includes beetles, insects and small birds.

          The spotted owlets are common in many parts of India, Iran and Southeast Asia.