Buffy Fish Owl

Scientific Name: Ketupa ketupu

Malay Name: Tumbuk-Ketampi Biasa

Chinese Name: 马来渔鸮

Range: Southeast Asia to Java and Borneo

Taxonomy: Polytypic. Subspecies are: ketupu, pageli, minor.

Local Subspecies: ketupu

Size: 45.5-47 cm

Identification: A medium-sized owl with buff facial disc, striking white eyebrows and yellow eyes. Distinct ear tufts. Upperparts are buff based, streaked with darker feathers and have pale rufous edges. Underparts have a buff background with thin, dark streaks. Legs are unfeathered and vary from grey to blackish.

Similar looking species: Short-eared Owl, Long-eared Owl

Habitat: Most areas in close proximity to waterways including coastal areas. Can be found in urban canals with large fish.

Behaviour/Ecology: Normally solitary. Most active at dawn and dusk where it can be seen next to waterbodies where it fishes.

Local Status: Uncommon resident

Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2016)

Location: Any site with suitable habitat. Recorded in Sungei Buloh, Upper Seletar Reservoir Park, Ulu Pandan Park Connector, Pasir Ris Mangroves


BirdLife International. (2016). Ketupa ketupu. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22689024A93214791.en. Accessed on 1 January 2023

Robson, C. (2014). Field guide to the birds of South-East Asia (Second Edition). Bloomsbury Publishing, London.

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