Buffy Fish Owl

Scientific Name: Ketupa ketupu
Malay Name: Tumbuk-Ketampi Biasa
Chinese Name: 马来渔鸮
Alternative Name(s): Brown Wood Owl

Southeast Asia to Java and Borneo

Polytypic. Subspecies are: ketupu, pageli, minor.

Local Subspecies: ketupu

Size: 45.5-47 cm

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

Featured articles:

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.