Tawny Fish Owl

Ketupa flavipes

The tawny fish owl (Ketupa flavipes) is a fish owl species in the family known as typical owls, Strigidae. It is native from southern Nepal to Bangladesh, Vietnam and China. Due to its wide geographical distribution, it is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List. Like other fish owls, the tawny fish owl has large ear tufts but they usually hang to the sides of the head and are distinctly messy and tousled looking. They have yellow eyes. Tawny fish owls have been described as the most "attractive" of the fish owls. They tend to be an orangey-rufous color on the crown and upperparts, which are overlaid with broad, blackish markings on the central part of the feathers and spots of the same color as the reddish-brown feather edges. The scapulars are a dingy yellow color, forming a contrasting band which runs across the owl's shoulders. The flight and tail feathers are strongly barred dark brown and buffish. The facial disc is poorly defined but a sizeable off-white area on the eyebrows and forehead stands out. While buffy and brown fish owls are featherless on their legs and the Blakiston's fish owl (Ketupa blakistoni) has totally feathered legs (the latter more like most Bubo), the tawny fish owl has feathering over two-thirds of the tarsi. The legs below feathering are greenish-yellow with greyish-horn coloured talons. Beside the variability of the feathering of the legs, the buffy fish owl is most similar in plumage but is smaller and buff hued rather than orange-rufous hued. The brown fish owl is a much more solid brown color with distinct vermiculations below and no yellowish band across the back.
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Tawny Fish Owls on Birda


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Hemant Kirola
Monday 02 Oct 2017 - 6:15am
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