I found this pair of roosting Indian Scops Owls (Collard Scops Owl for some) in the Deep South, Sri Lanka during the photography tourthat I led in August. They used to roost inside a tree hole in a home garden. However, as of recently, they have checked into more cozy indoors in search of better amenities.
This species of Owl was originally collected by Joan Gideon Loten (15 May, 1710–25 February, 1789) who was the Dutch Govenor of the martime provinces of Lanka from 10 Sep, 1752 to 17 March, 1757, upon whose collections, the foundation of Sri Lankan Ornithology was built.
Govenor Loten collected a large number of birds and natural history, and noted their weights, dimensions, and Sinhala names. He then got a local artist with European descent named, Pieter Cornelis de Bevere to illustrate his collections. Following his term, Loten retired to England in 1758, and corresponded with some of the well-known naturalists in England and beyond. This Owl was described by one such naturalist, Thomas Pennant in Indian Zoology in 1769.
The species etymology: bakkamoena is interesting, as it in Sinhala it means owl. However, the latter is commonly used for somewhat larger ones like the Brown Fish Owl; the smaller owls such as Indian Scops Owl are loosly referred in Sinhala as bassa nowadays. However, the former appears to be the name that the locals perhaps have communicated to Loten; thus it had beem used as its species name in the Latin binomial given by Pennant. In the Sinhalese pronounciation, the 'moen'of the latinized species name is pronounced as 'moon'.