Shri Jasnath Asan, Rajasthan, India
Photo © Shri Jasnath Asan, 2016
16 NOV 2016
Note: I know spell check is supposed to be helpful and a useful tool of civilization but it kept correcting Owlet to Omelette. Go figure ...
I have seen more cute today than I can bear.
Had the pleasure of meeting a spotted owlet this morning during my morning walk behind the ashram. Up in the branches of a tree, standing at an unbelievably cute and diminutive, 21 centimeters, was the owelette. Through sheer abundance of quirk and character, this owl may surpass the hoopoe as my favorite Indian bird. This species is nocturnal but is sometimes seen in the day. When I disturbed it from its daytime site, he bobbed its head dramatically and furiously as a dashboard bobble-head doll on a washboard road. After that impressive feat it challenged me to a staring contest which it lost when it fell asleep during the competition. I loved it.
The tiny owl hunts a variety of insects and small vertebrates. In Pakistan they have been found to take mostly insect prey where around Jodhpur they favor mice. Here they take small rodents, bats, toads, large insects, and small snakes.
They nest in cavities often competing with other hole-nesters such as mynas and parakeets. Nesting season is just starting in Rajasthan and is generally November to April so I will be on the lookout for nesting owlettes and tiny bobble-head babies.
Panchla Siddha, India
Sharon K. Schafer
I paint, photograph, and speak about wild places in an act of reciprocity that is as vital to me as heartbeat or breath.
My interest in the magic and mystery of the natural world lies at the intersection of art and science.
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Shri Jasnath Asan