Fun Asian Barred Owlet Facts For Kids

Tanya Parkhi
Oct 20, 2022 By Tanya Parkhi
Originally Published on Sep 02, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
Fact-checked by Kidadl Team
Here are some Asian barred owlet facts you will love!
Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.1 Min

The Asian barred owlet, or cuckoo owlet as it is alternatively called, is a species of small, brown owlet found in the range of Southeast Asia and across the Indian subcontinent, mainly in northeast India, Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet, China, Vietnam. This bird belongs to the family Strigidae. This species is quite common, and one does not need to search far in order to spot one of these owlets, flying about in their natural distribution region of temperate and high altitude montane forests. They are known for their small stature and beautiful white bar-like patterning on their chocolate brown feathers, which give them a quite eye-catching appearance.

These birds are carnivorous in nature and can even snatch small birds of the sky mid-flight to satisfy their appetites. Their strong, silent wings help them to sneak up on various small animals and hunt them down.

To learn more about this owldorable species, read on! For more amazing bird species, check out these rufous owl facts and tawny owl facts for kids.

Asian Barred Owlet Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an Asian barred owlet?

The Asian barred owlet (Glaucidium cuculoides) is a type of small owl belonging to the order Strigiformes, which can be found in the Indian subcontinent and parts of Southeast Asia. They are part of the owl family Strigidae.

What class of animal does an Asian barred owlet belong to?

The Asian barred owlet (Glaucidium cuculoides) belongs to the class of Aves and genus Glaucidium.

How many Asian barred owlets are there in the world?

Though the exact population of the Asian barred owlet (Glaucidium cuculoides) bird is unknown, we do know that its population is above 10,000 individuals as the species is currently of Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.

Where does an Asian barred owlet live?

The Asian barred owlet (Glaucidium cuculoides) is usually found in the range across the Indian subcontinent range and some parts of Southeast Asia. This bird is usually found in the western Himalayan region from northeast India to east Nepal, Bhutan, south Assam, Burma, and east Bangladesh. The Asian barred owlet range map also includes Tibet, China, and Vietnam.

What is an Asian barred owlet's habitat?

The ideal Asian barred owlet habitat ranges across natural montane pine, oak, and rhododendron forests. This owlet can also be found in subtropical and tropical evergreen jungles at lower altitudes. This bird is not afraid to live near human habitations such as in gardens and parks.

Who do Asian barred owlets live with?

These Asian barred owlet (Glaucidium cuculoides) birds can be found living either in pairs or alone, perching on branches during the day and hunting in small groups in the forest. They can be spotted in bigger flocks during the breeding season with the beautiful patterning on their wings in full view.

How long does an Asian barred owlet live?

Though the exact lifespan of the owlet Asian barred bird species is unknown, owls are known to live for up to 25 years. However, the average lifespan can be lower depending on the bird species.

How do they reproduce?

The breeding season for the owlet Asian barred bird species takes place from April to June. Owls pair up to mate and the female lays around four white eggs in hollow natural tree cavities or abandoned barbet or woodpeckers holes. These owls have also been known to kill woodpeckers and barbets in order to steal their nests if no other places are available in the area. The Asian barred owlet female then incubates the eggs until July and they hatch to reveal the owlets.

What is their conservation status?

The current conservation status of the Asian barred owlet (Glaucidium cuculoides) bird is Least Concern according to the IUCN Red List.

Asian Barred Owlet Fun Facts

What do Asian barred owlets look like?

The Asian barred owlet (Glaucidium cuculoides) is a small bird with a chocolate brown body, rounded head, and no ear tuft like other owl species. It has a pale brown breast and face with white wavy bars evenly spaced all over its body. They have a white patch on the throat and the stripes on their body develop more into streak details as you go down. Their tail feathers are darker in color with distinct white bar-like details. They have chrome yellow feet and beaks, with their large eyes being a beautiful luminescent yellow. The females are known to be slightly larger than the male bird.

This owlet has beautiful large yellow eyes which glow in the dark.

How cute are they?

With their small size and large, luminescent eyes which are fun to see as they glow at night, these birds are very cute in appearance.

How do they communicate?

Males are known to be more vocal, making a series of musical calls which increase in volume and harshness as the notes go on, before ending quite abruptly. Their call has been measured to occur in a range of 0.9-1.3 kHz, with a rate of one to four notes per second. They also make a number of soft, mellow hoots while at rest which are quite pleasant to hear. This bird can be heard mostly during the early hours of dawn.

How big is an Asian barred owlet?

These Asian barred owlet (Glaucidium cuculoides) birds range in length between 8.7-9.8 in (22-25 cm), with the female bird being slightly bigger than the male. Their wingspan is 5.2-6.6 in (13.1-16.8 cm), with their tails being around  2.9-4.5 in (7.5-11.4 cm) in length. They are in the same range as Javan owlets.

How fast can an Asian barred owlet fly?

Though the exact flying speed of this bird species is unknown, owls are known to be very slow flyers, averaging at a speed of only 2 mph (3.2 kph). Their flight is usually very silent and they can startle their prey by swooping down, undetected.

How much does an Asian barred owlet weigh?

These birds are quite small, with a weight range from 5.3-8.5 oz (150-240 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names for either sex of this bird species, with the Asian barred owlet male being called a cock and the female called a hen. They are often called Taenioglaux cuiloides which is a genus found in Asia and are sometimes considered subspecies of the Glaucidium species.

What would you call a baby Asian barred owlet?

Baby Asian barred owlets are called owlets.

What do they eat?

The Asian barred owlet diet is carnivorous in nature and they can be observed feeding on large insects such as beetles, grasshoppers, and cicadas. They are also known to prey on lizards, mice and small birds. They can be seen attacking birds mid flight, seizing them in their claws.

Are they rare?

No, these birds are not rare. They can be found abundantly in various montane and temperate forests across Asia and are listed as of Least Concern by the IUCN Red List.

Would they make a good pet?

Owls do not make good pets and are not meant to be kept as pets either. Taking care of owls is a tedious and difficult task as they are usually large birds and can be very noisy at times. It is also illegal to keep owls as pets in the US, with qualified license holders only being able to keep owls in foster care in order to rehabilitate them in certain situations.

Did you know...

Unlike other owl species, which are nocturnal, the Asian barred owlet bird is actually active during the day and sleeps at night.

It is also known as the cuckoo owlet bird, probably due to its habit of killing other birds and taking over their nests in order to lay their eggs.

They are often called Taenioglaux cuiloides, Taenoiglaux being a genus of owl bird that are found in Asia. These owls are sometimes considered as a subspecies of the Glaucidium species, part of the Strigidae order.

The notion that these birds of the Asian barred owlet species migrate like other bird species is incorrect as they are non-migratory resident birds. During the winters, the birds living in the higher altitude montane forests may move downwards due to the dropping temperature, but they do not cover very large distances.

How did Asian barred owlets get their name?

The Asian barred owlet (Glaucidium cuculoides) bird species gets its name from the presence of evenly shaped, white bars on its brown plumage/ which give it a quite striking appearance. Also its tiny size makes it much smaller than other owl species. As it is only found in Asia, belonging to the Asian owl genus Glaucidium, it was given the apt name the Asian barred owlet.

Are Asian barred owlets endangered?

No, these birds are not endangered, with their population actually increasing over the years and they are a common sight to see in many parts of Asia. You will not have to search hard to find this beautiful owl, often found perching in trees in its natural distribution of montane and temperate forests.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other bird species from our short-eared owl interesting facts and barn owl surprising facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Asian barred owlet coloring pages.

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Written by Tanya Parkhi

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

Tanya Parkhi picture

Tanya ParkhiBachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

Tanya is a skilled content creator with a passion for writing and a love for exploring new cultures. With a degree in Economics from Fergusson College, Pune, India, Tanya worked on her writing skills by contributing to various editorials and publications. She has experience writing blogs, articles, and essays, covering a range of topics. Tanya's writing reflects her interest in travel and exploring local traditions. Her articles showcase her ability to engage readers and keep them interested.

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