Family Typical Owls (Strigidae)

Least Concern

Jungle Owlet (Glaucidium radiatum)


French: Chevêchette de jungle German: Dschungelzwergkauz Spanish: Mochuelo de jungla

Strix Radiata


, 1833,

jungles of Borabhum and Dholbhum, India


This and some other Old World owlet species placed in genus Taenioglaux by some recent authors#R#R. Possibly closest to G. castanotum, with which has been considered conspecific; although both present in Sri Lanka, they occupy different habitats. Form malabaricum possibly a distinct species, differing from radiatum in some details of morphology and plumage#R#R and possibly also in some vocalizations#R; fuller study needed. Proposed race principum (from S Rajasthan, in W India) is included in nominate. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • G. r. radiatum (Tickell, 1833) – Jungle Owlet – Himalayas from Himachal Pradesh E to Bhutan, Bangladesh and possibly W Myanmar, and S through India (except SW); also Sri Lanka.
  • G. r. malabaricum (Blyth, 1846) – Nilgiri Owlet – SW India.
  • Descriptive notes

    20–22 cm; 88–114 g. Small, squat owlet lacking occipital "eye" spots. Facial disc barred brown and cream, with distinct white eyebrows, chin and... read more


    Series of loud, barbet-like trills, the phrases repeated at intervals of several seconds and... read more


    Occurs in dense and secondary deciduous jungle, foothill and submontane forest, scrub and bamboo;... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mostly insects, including beetles, locusts, grasshoppers and cicadas; also lizards, rodents and small birds. Recent sample of 171 prey... read more


    Mar–Jun in Nepal, Mar–May elsewhere. Nest in unlined tree cavity, 3–8 m above ground. Usually 3 eggs (2–4); in Sri... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Status poorly known. Common in Nepal, India and Sri Lanka, but suffering under deforestation in latter country;... 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). Jungle Owlet (Glaucidium radiatum). 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 14 December 2019).