S’pore cyclist spots critically-endangered Buffy Fish Owl

Close encounters of the bird kind.

Nigel Chua | December 10, 2020, 10:45 PM

A cyclist out for a ride one night chanced upon the uncommon sight of a Buffy Fish Owl.

The nocturnal creature was perched on the railing between a canal and the park connector where the cyclist was riding past.

Photos and a video of the encounter were posted on Facebook by one Arvee Vergara.

The owl appeared to be facing the canal at first, but turned around to face the approaching cyclist.

GIF from video by Arvee Vergara on Facebook.

It was apparently uninterested in a staring match, however, and turned away with a typical owl head movement.

GIF from video by Arvee Vergara on Facebook.

Buffy Fish Owl

From its prominent ear-tufts, yellow eyes, and black-streaked, brownish underparts, the owl appears to be a Buffy Fish Owl.

The Buffy Fish Owl is also known as the Malay Fish Owl, and grows to about 45 cm in height, and is usually seen perched on trees overlooking water bodies, searching for prey.

As its name suggests, it feeds on fish, as well as frogs and other small animals.

While the Buffy Fish Owl can be found in various Southeast Asian countries, it is considered critically endangered in Singapore.

The scientific name of the Buffy Fish Owl is "ketupa ketupu".


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Top image by Arvee Vergara on Facebook