Diversity and Nest Characteristics of Owl Species Inhabiting Margalla Hills National Park Islamabad, Pakistan
Tariq Mahmood1,*, Shafqat Rasool1, Faraz Akrim1, Shaista Andleeb1, Muhammad Sajid Nadeem2 and Fiaz Nadeem3
Field surveys were conducted fortnightly from February 2014 to May 2015 for recording diversity of owl species inhabiting Margalla Hills National Park, Islamabad (MHNP). Three owl species viz., Spotted Owlet (Athene brama), Little owlet (Athene noctua) and the Tawny Owl (Strix aluco) were recorded from the park at five different sampling sites, at elevations ranging from 615 m to 655 m above sea level. Only one of the three species Tawny owl was previously known from the park while the other two species have been recorded for the first time from the MHNP. On the contrary, three other owl species that were previously known from the park (Asian Barred Owlet Glaucidium cuculoides, Oriental Scops-owl Otus sunia and Pallid Scops Owl Otus brucei ) were not recorded in the current study. Nests of Spotted owlet were found at three sampling sites (Kalinger, Gandhian and Shah Allah Ditta), those of little owlet at Kalinger valley, while single cavity nest of the Tawny owl was located in a mountain ridge at Kalinger valley site.