The cuddliest owl of all

The Chestnut Backed Owlet is an adorable little owl that’s difficult to spot, but a delight to watch!

Surely the inspiration for many stuffed owl toys, this stocky little creature is endemic to Sri Lanka and is most prevalent in the wetlands, hills and pristine forests. If you are lucky enough to spot one of these well-camouflaged birds, you would soon end up mesmerised by its Medusa-like glare. The strange circular head bobble, the chubby little body and the hypnotic, piercing stare have often rendered a bird watcher motionless, at least until the little guy... or girl flies off. Quite frustratingly, it's never easy to tell them apart just by appearance, as both sexes look exactly alike with brown feathers across most of the body and white & black feathers on the chest. 


Fun Facts

Unlike its nocturnal cousins, this cute little owl loves to be out in the daylight and does most of its hunting during this time. Despite this, it’s a very hard owl to spot due to its colour and size, especially when it sits quietly in the trees. Its undoing, which bird watchers rely on, is its distinct “kwurr, kwurr” call, which starts off soft but increases in volume quickly, promptly giving away its location.

Story of the Picture

During his stay with Explorer by Eco Team, Kushan was on one of his early morning treks deep inside the Sinharaja Rain Forest, when the distinct call of this little owl drew him to it. The little guy was tucked away and hidden among the branches of a tall Kithul tree, but Kushan was able to get a nice vantage point, resulting in this beautiful shot.



Much more than just a great place to stay

"Thanks to our guide Avinka we had five great safaris staying four nights just after reopening this February. The staff made us feel so very welcome during the entire stay.

The safaries are just wonderful, and having a great guide in your vehicle makes a big difference. Avinka can spot animals you would never see and we were even lucky enough to sight leopards on the trees, close to our vehicle, and also running through the field. The wildlife is so exciting that you will have a great experience even if you don‘t see any leopards. We also had a great driver, which is essential if you drive through difficult territory. You are being taken care of the entire time, so even for those who do safaris for the first time, you will always feel safe.

The camp itself is very comfortable, you get everything you can think of, and on top of the great food being served with so much attention and friendliness. You also get wonderful vegetarian and vegan options. They put on bonfires at night, which makes it unforgettable.
When booking and making plans, you get great support from the headquarters, even if it gets difficult since you have to change your plans.
The best thing what can happen to you at the end of a vacation is when you are a bit sad to leave the place, having experienced something to remember forever, and the team does everything for this to happen. Thank you so much"

Axel S wrote, Traveled with family
January 2021

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