Roosting ecology of spotted owlet (Athene brama) and barn owl (Tyto alba) in agroecosystem of Punjab
Yashika Gaba and Nisha Vashishat
The Spotted Owlet (Athene brama) and Barn Owl (Tyto alba) are the most common owl species in Punjab. The roosting ecology of Spotted Owlet and Barn Owl was observed at different sites of Punjab Agricultural University, villages Baranhara and Ladhowal of district Ludhiana. The preferred habitat of owls in selected locations was observed to record their utilization for roosting. Different trees utilized for roosting by Spotted Owlet were mulberry (Morus spp.), mango (Mangifera indica), banyan (Ficus spp.), peepal (Ficus religiosa) and dek (Melia azedarach). Barn Owl preferred peepal and jamun trees for roosting. Barn Owl also preferred closed grain sheds and empty building crevices for roosting. Mean tree height was observed to be 13.00±1.22 m at Punjab Agricultural University, 15.33±2.85 m at Baranhara and 12.50±0.50 m at Ladhowal. Most preferred tree utilized for roosting by Spotted Owlet was mulberry and dek tree and that of Barn Owl was peepal tree. Seasonal variation was also observed in roosting behaviour. Spotted Owlets were seen shifting from one roosting sites to another or spending more time in their cavities during the winter season. All the roosting sites were observed very near to the nesting sites and around field areas.