Spotted Wood Owl

Scientific Name: Strix seloputo

Malay Name: Carik-Kafan Berbintik Asia

Chinese Name: 点斑林鸮

Range: Southeast Asia southwards to the islands of Sumatra, Java and Palawan, absent from Borneo.

Taxonomy: Polytypic. Subspecies are: seloputo, baweana, wiepkeni.

Local Subspecies: seloputo

Size: 44.5-48 cm

Identification: A medium-sized owl with orange facial disc, dark eyes and no ear tufts. Back dark brown, entire upperparts are covered in white spots. Head blackish, barred white. Underparts are white and thickly barred with thin dark brown stripes, breast has rusty wash. Distinguished from Brown Wood Owl by orange facial disc and much darker, bolder barring on underparts.

Similar looking species: Brown Wood Owl

Habitat: Forest edge, wooded areas and parks.

Behaviour/Ecology: Most common large owl in Singapore after Buffy Fish Owl. Quite urban-adapted and can be found in parks in close proximity to built up areas.

Local Status: Uncommon resident

Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2016)

Location: Wooded habitats. Pasir Ris Park, Bishan Ang Mo Kio Park, National University of Singapore campus, Tengah. Likely to occur in most parkland with large trees.


BirdLife International. (2016). Strix seloputo. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016. 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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