Young owl in Yishun lying flat on tree branch is a whole mood

How everyone feels about 2020.

Zhangxin Zheng | June 10, 2020, 09:56 PM

A rather restless looking young owl has caused quite a buzz among nature lovers for its comical look.

Photo courtesy of Eric Cheong.

The juvenile owl laid flat on the tree branch as the photo was taken by one Yishun resident, Eric Cheong, on June 7.

The owl was with its mother (on the left) who was appalled at this very unbecoming posture of a poised owl.

Here's another shot of the little one looking curiously and straight at the camera while the mother owl looked away:

Photo courtesy of Eric Cheong.

Here's one where it looks like it doesn't give a hoot:

Photo courtesy of Eric Cheong.

Comical looking owl part of family of 3 in Yishun

Cheong told Mothership that this is a family of three owls and they had been spotted under his block since June 1.

When he took the photos of the duo, the male adult owl was perching on another tree nearby, looking out for threats perhaps.

Photo courtesy of Eric Cheong.

Photo of the two adult owls:

Photo courtesy of Eric Cheong.

This is the first time that Cheong encountered owls in Yishun.

He added that the adult owls will fly off to hunt at around 6:45pm everyday.

The family flew off on June 9 but an adult owl returned on June 10, Cheong shared.

Photo courtesy of Eric Cheong.

Buffy Fish Owl

The three owls are Buffy Fish Owls, also known as the Malaysian Fish Owl.

They are easily recognised by their dark brown feathers with black streaks, outward facing ear tufts and their yellow eyes.

As their name suggests, their diet consists of fish, and smaller creatures such as crustaceans, rats, frogs and insects.

These owls are usually spotted in forests and mangroves, such as in Central Catchment Nature Reserve and Pulau Ubin.

They are considered critically endangered in Singapore, according to the 2008 Singapore Red Data Book.

The Buffy Fish Owl is actually one of the 10 owl species in Singapore.

Why did the owl's eyes turn white?

While the white eyes give you the impression that the owl might be worn-out, this is actually not the case.

Photo courtesy of Eric Cheong.

What you are seeing is actually the third eyelid of an owl, also known as the nictitating membrane.

Yes, the owls have three eyelids -- upper and lower eyelids as well as this third eyelid which is a thin layer of tissue that closes the eyes from inside out diagonally to clean and protect the eye surface.

All birds have this third eyelid but the owls' wide and forward facing eyes make it easier for people to notice.

There are more bird species in Singapore than you might imagine.

NParks is currently conducting a stay-at-home bird survey.

All you have to do is look out of the window and see how many birds can you find in your neighbourhood.

Find out more about this activity here.

Previously in Yishun

Top photos courtesy of Eric Cheong