Family Typical Owls (Strigidae)


Forest Owlet (Heteroglaux blewitti)


French: Chevêche forestière German: Blewittkauz Spanish: Mochuelo de Blewitt
Other common names: Forest Spotted Owlet

Heteroglaux Blewitti

A. O. Hume

, 1873,

Busnah, Phooljan State [Chhattisgarh], India


Commonly treated (including in HBW) in Athene, and even as conspecific with A. brama and (when brama included with A. noctua) A. noctua, but differs significantly in structure of nares, skull morphology and behaviour#R. Relationships uncertain; possibly more closely related to Glaucidium; recent analyses using mitochondrial and nuclear DNA indicate Heteroglaux is nested within Athene#R. Monotypic.


WC & EC India: plains and low foothills in NW & NC Maharashtra and S Madhya Pradesh; perhaps also in E Madhya Pradesh and W Odisha (no records in 20th century or later from last two); recorded in SE Gujarat in 2014#R.

Descriptive notes

20–23 cm; 241 g (n = 1). Facial disc mostly white with fine light brown barring; crown grey-brown with faint, sparse pale spots (appears unspotted); mantle and... read more


Primary song a series of quick, plaintive notes given by day. Also hissing, screeching, and other... read more


Dry to dense moist lowland deciduous forest (especially teak) at 200–600 m elevation; once... read more

Food and feeding

Little information; 1 of 2 individuals seen in Nov 1997 had blood on bill, indicating that vertebrates (mammals or birds?) probably form... read more


Four nests found in Toranmal Forest, Maharashtra, in natural tree cavities at 450–500 m elevation between Oct 1998–May 1999.... read more


Apparently resident; birds were still present at the Nov 1997 rediscovery site in Jun 1998 and... read more

Status and conservation

ENDANGERED. CITES I. Endemic to Central India, this species has a tiny, severely fragmented population, and is known from fewer than 12 recent locations. Unknown in life... 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., Sharpe, C.J. & Marks, J.S. (2019). Forest Owlet (Heteroglaux blewitti). 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 8 December 2019).