Fun Bay Owl Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Bay Owl Facts For Kids

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Bay owls have been classified into three species which are the Congo bay owl (Phodilus prigoginei), oriental bay owl (Phodilus badius), and Sri Lanka bay owl (Phodilus assimilis). In central Africa, the distribution of the species is moderate as the population distribution is mostly centered in Southeast Asian countries. These birds roost in the cavities of tree trunks in the daytime while a similar preference is noticed in the breeding period when these birds construct their nests in tree trunks. These nocturnal birds prefer to commence their activities in the dark of the night so spotting an owl can be a once in a blue moon opportunity. However, they are not rare in general although some species of bay owls have been qualified to be endangered. For instance, the barn owl is pretty famous in Greater London, particularly in Osterley Park. The largest owl in the world, Blakiston's fish owl, is believed to be the rarest.

If you are looking for some eye-opening facts about unique birds then your search ends here! Check out these fun facts about the barn owl and screech owl.

Fun Bay Owl Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Small mammals, lizards, frogs, and insects

What do they eat?


Average litter size?

2-5 eggs

How much do they weigh?

Congo bay owl: 0.4 lb (195 g) Oriental bay owl: 0.6-0.7 lb (255-308 g) Sri Lanka bay owl: 0.5 lb (230 g)

How long are they?

Congo bay owl: 9-10 in (23–25 cm)Oriental bay owl: 9-11 in (23–29 cm)Sri Lanka bay owl: 11 in (29 cm)‍

How tall are they?


What do they look like?


Skin Type


What were their main threats?

Human Activities

What is their conservation status?

Congo bay owl: Endangered Oriental bay owl and Sri Lanka bay owl: Least Concern

Where you'll find them?

Grasslands, Subtropical, Tropical, And Mangroves, And Montane Forests


Central Africa, And Indonesia, South To Southeast Asia









Bay Owl Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a bay owl?

The bay owl is a species of nocturnal bird.

What class of animal does a bay owl belong to?

All species of bay owls belong to the class Aves, genus Phodilus.

How many bay owls are there in the world?

Only 2,500-9,999 adult Congo bay owls have been recorded qualifying this species as vulnerable. On the other hand, no exact number of the population of Sri Lanka bay owls or oriental bay owls has been recorded yet. Nevertheless, their stable population has prevented them becoming vulnerable.

Where does a bay owl live?

As the name suggests, the Congo bay owl can be found in the Democratic Republic of Congo, mainly in the Itombwe Mountains. The oriental bay owl is located in Cambodia, India, China, Thailand, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Vietnam, Laos, and Myanmar. The population distribution of the Sri Lanka bay owl is abundant in the Sri Lankan islands and Western Ghats of India, especially in the southwestern parts of the Indian subcontinent.

What is a bay owl's habitat?

A bay owl habitat includes the tropical, subtropical, and montane forests of southeast Asia as well as grasslands and mangroves.

Who do bay owls live with?

Usually, owls prefer to remain detached from flocks or large accumulations but sometimes they form pairs and stick with family members. The social behavior of bay owls needs to be explored more.

How long does a bay owl live?

Generally, owls have a life expectancy of nine to 10 years in the wilderness while they can live up to 28 years in captivity. However, specific details about the bay owl lifespan are limited, so it can be assumed that they have similar longevity.

How do they reproduce?

These birds are known to be monogamous. The ideal breeding season for owls is springtime. Males engage in courtship and actions like aerial movements, calls, and offers of food are common gestures for alluring female owls. Copulation takes place once the females accept food. After successful breeding and nest construction, the females incubate the eggs for about 30 days after which the males take to feeding the owlets. Fledging takes place within 10 months. The behavior of Congo bay owls during breeding is not fully understood.

What is their conservation status?

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List data, the conservation status of the Congo bay owl (Phodilus prigoginei) is Endangered while the oriental bay owl (Phodilus badius) and Sri Lanka bay owl (Phodilus assimilis) are classified under Least Concern.

Bay Owl Fun Facts

What do bay owls look like?

These chestnut-colored birds have a heart-shaped facial appearance. These birds have a cream-colored throat, black to dark brown eyes, rounded wings, and fully feathered feet. The Sri Lanka bay owl has spotted, dark brown underparts.

Bay Owl

How cute are they?

The adorable V-shaped facial structure coupled with the chestnut brown color renders these plump birds a serene look. Moreover, owlets are just too cute to be defined.

How do they communicate?

Like all other bird species, owls engage in vocalizations via innumerable calls. Hooting is normally witnessed while establishing territories, warding off intruders, or even alluring mates. Calls like 'kwankwit-kwankwit-kek-kek-kek' have been heard by the oriental bay owl. These birds also whistle, screech, growl, and scream.

How big is a bay owl?

The average length of the three species of bay owls ranges somewhere between 9-11 in (23-29 cm). They are much smaller when compared with great green macaws which measure around 33-35 in (85 -90 cm) in length.

How fast can a bay owl move?

Generally, owls can fly at an average speed of 10-20 mph (16-32 kph) but some owl species like the great horned owl can attain a speed of 40 mph (64 kph). The accurate speed range of this species still needs to be examined.

How much does a bay owl weigh?

Normally, the Congo bay owl weighs approximately 0.4 lb (195 g), while the Sri Lanka bay owl is slightly bulkier measuring around 0.5 lb (230 g). However, the oriental bay owl appears to be the heaviest with an average range of 0.6-0.7 lb (255-308 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

Neither genders have special names. They are called male and female owls.

What would you call a baby bay owl?

Baby owls are generally regarded as nestlings or owlets.

What do they eat?

This species indulges in a carnivorous diet comprising lizards, frogs, small mammals, birds, and insects.

Are they dangerous?

Most species of owls are known to portray aggression towards humans or other intruders especially while protecting their nest or territory. It is best to maintain a safe distance from any predatory bird.

Would they make a good pet?

In several countries owning an owl as a pet is illegal. Owls are independent wild birds used to their habitat in tropical, montane forests. Although some species like the barn owl or snowy owl are reared as pets, they often succumb to health problems when removed from their natural environment.

Did you know...

In 1830, the genus Phodilus was structured by Isidore Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, a French zoologist, who derived the genus name of the bird species from Ancient Greek where the term 'phōs' means 'light' and 'deilos' means 'cowardly'.

What are the different types of owl species found?

Owls are a unique bird species divided into two families namely Tytonidae and Strigidae comprising 250 distinct species. Belonging to the genus of the barn owls (oldest owls), the bay owl portrays dissimilarities in terms of their small body shape and distinct V-shaped facial construction. The western screech owl and barred owl of the Strigidae family are found in North America while Woodford's owl is plentiful in Africa.

Do bay owls migrate?

This species is not known to migrate, just like non-migratory tawny owls. In times of food shortages during winter, they do fly to the southern parts. The process is termed irruption not migration since this event doesn't recur annually.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our limpkin facts and common snipe facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable bay owl coloring pages.

Written By
Moumita Dutta

<p>A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.</p>

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