|MAY - 2011|
Dear Nature Lovers,
Greetings from oikos !
On occasion of Gudi Padwa, we announced formation of a group ‘Native Growers’. Individuals & nurseries keenly working to propagate Native plants are managing a central database of available species with quantities @ www.oikos.in/pages/nursery
Do spread this message amongst plant lovers to make right choice for Plantations this monsoon.
Coming to desktops calendar, this month it is “Spotted Owlet”, an adorable nocturnal bird. People from different countries symbolize it as good omen, money maker or bad omen. Unfortunately, sometime it is also captured for black magic.
It is aptly known as ‘Farmer’s friend’, being predator of rodents like mice. It is also a part of urban life ! One can easily observe it in backyard after sunset.
Ketaki & Manasi.
Zoological name: Athene brama
Locally known as ‘Pingala’, ‘Ullu’, it is a small sized, white spotted, grayish brown owl with large yellow eyes, commonly seen & heard near settlements. Being nocturnal i.e. active during night, it can be noticed resting in tree holes, ruins, during the day. Rarely it is also seen during the day. Their loud & harsh call is often heard at dawn & dusk, sometime during day too.
It is a widespread resident in Tropical Asia, mainly India, Pakistan & Southeast Asia. It’s preferred habitat is farmland, human habitation, and adapted to city life as well.
If disturbed, the owlet tends to stare at intruder. Near habitations, it is observed to have higher breeding rate due to increased availability of rodents.
It feeds on beetles, variety of insects, young birds, mice, lizards. Sometimes even preferring Bats, toads, small snakes. It nests in tree hollows, holes in walls, during November to April, lays 3 – 4 eggs.