Spotted wood owlet falls off tree in Pasir Ris Park, enjoys playful moment on ground

Spotted on the ground.

Khine Zin Htet | December 05, 2023, 12:18 PM



An adorable baby Spotted wood owl took an unexpected flight from its tree and found itself grounded in Pasir Ris Park on Dec. 1.

While on the ground, the owlet had some playful moments that was captured by nature enthusiasts and photographers.

Here are some photos of the little owl in action that photographer Toh Teaw Kuan shared on Facebook group Nature Society Singapore.

Owlet perches on camera bag

Photo from Toh Teaw Kuan/ Nature Society Singapore Facebook

As the owlet explored the ground, it seized an opportunity to perch regally on Toh's camera bag.

The sight was reminiscent of a tiny monarch standing tall, asserting its royal presence.

Photo from Toh Teaw Kuan/ Nature Society Singapore Facebook

Owlet plays peek-a-hoo

Photo from Toh Teaw Kuan/ Nature Society Singapore Facebook

Toh also captured the owlet from behind some leaves, making it look as if it was hiding and playing peekaboo.

Owlet flapping its wings

Photo from Toh Teaw Kuan/ Nature Society Singapore Facebook

The owlet attempted to fly back up its tree, flapping its wings.

However, it did not succeed, according to photographer Jeffrey Ong who also saw the owlet and posted on his Instagram page.

Screenshot from Jeffrey Ong's Instagram.

In his post, Ong said that after several attempts of "climbing up the tree trunk", the baby owl eventually rested in a low fern.

Photo from Toh Teaw Kuan/ Nature Society Singapore Facebook

It was later returned to its treetop abode by animal welfare non-profit Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres), Ong wrote.

Responding to Mothership's queries, Acres' co-chief executive officer Kalai Vanan said that the park is a prominent nesting site for spotted wood owls.

"Every year, we get calls when the fledgling owlets leave the nest and drop to the ground," he said.

Acres rescue officers, Adrian and Aaron attended to the owl and used their carbon fibre telescopic pole to gently put the owl back into the nest, he explained.

"If the owlet drops again, public are advised to call us at 9783 7782 for assistance. Do not attempt to handle the animal or bring it home.

We also urge public and photographers not to crowd around the nesting site and give the animals as much space as possible."

Careful after its fall

Hearing about the baby owl's fall, photographer Prashanta Kumar Mohanty told Mothership that he went down to Pasir Ris Park the next day in hopes of checking on the owlet's condition.

He set up at the park from 8:30am until 5pm and observed that the baby owl was "extremely careful" after its fall.

Photo from Prashanta Kumar Mohanty/ Nature Society Singapore Facebook

It was trying to balance by spreading its wings during wind flow, he added.

Uncommon resident

The Spotted wood owl is an uncommon resident in Singapore.

Their population is estimated to be fewer than 30.

This species has been found at several other sites such as Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, National University of Singapore campus, and Tengah.

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Top photos via Toh Teaw Kuan on Nature Society Singapore/Facebook