Thai National Parks

Birds of Thailand

Species of Thailand

Oriental bay owl

In Thai: นกแสกแดง, nok saek daeng

Binomial name: Phodilus badius, Thomas Horsfield, 1821

The oriental bay owl (Phodilus badius) is a type of bay owl, usually classified with barn owls. It is completely nocturnal, and can be found throughout Southeast Asia. It has several subspecies. It has a heart-shaped face with earlike extensions. The Congo bay owl (Phodilus prigoginei) was formerly classified as a subspecies of Oriental bay owl due to insufficient knowledge, but it has turned out that it might not even belong to the same genus. The Sri Lanka bay owl was also considered a subspecies. These birds prey upon small rodents, bats, birds, snakes, frogs, lizards, and large arthropods such as beetles, grasshoppers, and spiders.

A population of this species has apparently become extinct on Samar Island in the Philippines during the 20th century. It was described as Phodilus badius riverae and was only ever known from a single specimen, which was lost in a bombing raid in 1945. The validity of this taxon is uncertain; it is usually synonymized with the nominate subspecies (for reasons of biogeography) or the subspecies saturatus (from external appearance); it might be a distinct species, however.

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Scientific classification

Phodilus badius

Common names

  • Thai: นกแสกแดง, nok saek daeng

Conservation status

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)


Oriental bay owl, Takua Pa District
Oriental bay owl, Mueang Trang District
Oriental bay owl, Khao Yai National Park

Range Map

Distribution map of Oriental bay owl, Phodilus badius in Thailand
Range map of Phodilus badius in Thailand