Family Typical Owls (Strigidae)

Least Concern

Asian Barred Owlet (Glaucidium cuculoides)


French: Chevêchette cuculoïde German: Kuckuckszwergkauz Spanish: Mochuelo cuco

Noctua cuculoïdes


, 1831,

Simla–Almora district, Himalayas


This and some other Old World owlet species placed in genus Taenioglaux by some recent authors#R#R. Possibly closest to G. castanopterum; sometimes considered to include latter and G. castanotum as races. Subspecies name whiteleyi often misspelt as whitelyi. Some authors synonymize austerum with rufescens, deignani with bruegeli, and delacouri with whiteleyi#R. Eight subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • G. c. cuculoides (Vigors, 1831) – Himalayan foothills from NE Pakistan and Kashmir E to W Sikkim.
  • G. c. austerum Ripley, 1948 – E Sikkim, Bhutan, NE Assam, SE Tibet and NW Myanmar.
  • G. c. rufescens E. C. S. Baker, 1926 – NE India, Bangladesh, S China (SW Yunnan) and N Myanmar.
  • G. c. whiteleyi (Blyth, 1867) – W, C & SE China and NE Vietnam.
  • G. c. persimile E. J. O. Hartert, 1910 – Hainan.
  • G. c. bruegeli (Parrot, 1908) – S Myanmar and S Thailand.
  • G. c. delacouri Ripley, 1948 – NE Laos and NW & C Vietnam.
  • G. c. deignani Ripley, 1948 – SE Thailand and S Indochina.
  • Descriptive notes

    22–25 cm; male 150–176 g, female 240 g (n = 1). Fairly large owlet with no “false eyes” on nape; head grey-brown, barred buff; ... read more


    Male song a trill lasting 7–14 seconds; also gives a series of squawks. During breeding... read more


    Open forest of pine and oak, subtropical evergreen jungle, scrub; sometimes in gardens and... read more

    Food and feeding

    Eclectic diet; takes mainly insects, including beetles, grasshoppers and cicadas, but also frogs, lizards, rodents and small... read more


    Lays Apr–Jun in Nepal, Apr–May elsewhere; pair observed together throughout Mar–Aug; fledgling found in early Jul. Nest... read more


    Mainly resident. Makes elevational movements on S Himalayan slopes; may also make vertical... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Common over most of range. Tolerates human proximity; nests in fruit gardens near Bangkok, Thailand, and in coconut... read more

    Recommended citation

    Holt, D.W., Berkley, R., Deppe, C., Enríquez Rocha, P., Petersen, J.L., Rangel Salazar, J.L., Segars, K.P., Wood, K.L. & Marks, J.S. (2019). Asian Barred Owlet (Glaucidium cuculoides). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 13 November 2019).