Small owl of fairly open country, such as farmland with hedges and scattered trees, orchards, open woodland, and quarries. Distinctive, with white-spotted upperparts. Staring yellow eyes and white brows, together with frequently upright stance, often create alert appearance. Nests in cavities in trees and rocks. Sometimes active by day, perching quietly on posts or rocks, but mainly active dusk to dawn. Flight low and undulating. Vocalizations are comprised of a range of endearing squeaks and high-pitched hoots.