Brown Fish Owl  Ketupa  zeylonensis


  • Ketupa : Malay name Ketupokfor the Buffy Fish Owl.
  • Zeylonensis : From Ceylon, Srilanka

Vernacular Names: Hindi:Amraikaghughu, BhuraMaccheraGhuggu, Sans: Matsyoluk, Pun: Machheraulloo, Ben: Bhootoompecha, Ass: Hoodoo, Guj: Machhimarghuvad, Matsyaghuvad, Mar: Masemarghubad,Ta: Periyaaandai, Umatanaandai, Te: Chepalagudlaguba, Mal: Ooman, Sinh: Bakamuna

Distribution in India: Wide spread Resident below Himalayas in India

Description: Size of 48–58 cm; wt. of male 1105 g, wt. of female 1308 g. It is large, flat-headed owl, with noticeable ear-tufts usually held horizontally. The facial disc is buff, with dark brown upper cheeks. The crown and upperparts are pale chestnut with dark brown mottling and streaking. The wing-coverts and flight-feathers are dark brown, mottled with whitish buff. The tail is barred brown and buff,throat is white and underparts are buffish white with dark shaft streaks and thin rufous cross-lines. The tarsus unfeathered; iris is bright yellow; bill is green-grey, tip is darker; legs and feet are yellowish.

Habitat: It is found in deciduous, semi-deciduous and open evergreen woodland, well-vegetated ravines, steep banks and canal sides, old plantations and groves with mature trees. It is found from from plains up to 2000 m.

Food habits: It eats large insects, fish, frogs and freshwater crabs, crayfish, snakes and lizards, rodents and birds. It is nocturnal and crepuscular, often diurnal. It hunts from perch overlooking water; swoops down and dangles legs in water, seizing prey in talons. It also wades after food.

Breeding habits: They breed in Nov–Mar on Indian Subcontinent and Apr in Sri Lanka. They pair for life. They nest in hollow or suitable depression in tree, in old raptor nest, on rock ledge or steep stream bank. They lay a clutch of 1–3 eggs. The incubation period is 34–38 days, incubation done by female. The fledging period is 45–50 days.