The Sichuan wood owl was first discovered for science in 1866 in the mountainous forests of Sichuan by the French priest Armand David. Because of the great similarity to the Ural owl, which is distributed across Eurasia, in respect to body size, plumage patterns, and especially vocalizations, the Sichuan wood owl was classified as a subspecies of the Ural owl. The Sichuan wood owl has a very restricted distribution and has been separated from areas inhabited by Ural owls for thousands of years. Thus, some scientists consider the Sichuan wood owl to be a separate species, Strix davidi, an owl which only occurs in China. We detected this owl at Lianhuashan for the first time in 1995. At this time, we have no basic knowledge about this impressive nocturnal bird. Because big trees with holes for nesting are rare in the reserve, we placed 50 nest boxes in suitable habitats. In 2005, the first successful breeding was observed in one of the boxes, this offered good opportunity to study the breeding biology of this endemic species. In 2006 we found two fledglings near a step rock, where they may have hatched in one of the deep cavities, propably the usual breeding place of this big owl.
The Sichuan wood owl bred successfully in a nest box
The researchers measure the chicks of Sichuan wood owl regularly
This young Sichuan wood owl had just left its nest one week ago.
The Sichuan wood owl is the only endemic owl in China, it is rare in the conifer forest at Lianhuashan