Oriental Bay-owl Phodilus badius


Justification of Red List Category
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is considered to be very rare throughout most of its range (del Hoyo et al. 1999).

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

Distribution and population

Phodilus badius is found in South and South-East Asia, from eastern India and southern China, through Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Lao, Viet Nam, Peninsular and East Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei Darussalem, Kalimantan, Sumatra, Java, and Bali, Indonesia (König and Weick 2008).


Strictly nocturnal, occurring in dense evergreen primary and secondary forest in lowlands, foothills, submontane and montane forest up to 1,700 m in South-East Asia, although has been recorded up to 2,300 m (König and Weick 2008). It preferred habitat is foothill forest between 200 and 1,000 m and submontane forest up to 1,500 m (König and Weick 2008). It typically occurs alongside water (König and Weick 2008).


23-29 cm. Chunky, short-winged and short-tailed strictly nocturnal owl with a heart-shaped facial disc. Bright rufous upperparts, well spotted and with ochre scapulars. Pale buff below with sparse black spotting. Similar spp. Ceylon Bay Owl P. assimilis (previously included with the present species) is darker and more chestnut above and the tail is more densely barred with eight regular bars across feathers. Voice. Loud, eerie, hesitant series of quavering whistles with each note after the first rising in pitch. Ceylon Bay Owl has a more complex, slower series of multi-element notes.


Text account compilers
Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Martin, R, Symes, A. & Taylor, J.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2018) Species factsheet: Phodilus badius. Downloaded from on 26/09/2018. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2018) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 26/09/2018.