Tawny Fish Owl  Ketupa  flavipes


  • Ketupa :  Malay name Ketupokfor the Buffy Fish Owl.
  • Flavipes : Latin word for flavusyellow; pesfoot

Vernacular Names: Lepcha: Lakkyo-o mung, Cachar: Dao haohoho, Dao bugao

Distribution in India: Resident of Himalayas and North East of India

Description: Size of 48–58 cm. It is a large fish-owl with prominent horizontal ear tufts. The facial disc is orange-rufous with indistinct dark border. The upperparts are rich orange-rufous or tawny with broad blackish shaft streaks, scapulars and wing-coverts with much buffy colour. The flight-feathers are barred dark brown, tail is dark brown, barred buffy. It has a well-defined white throat patch. The underparts are orange-rufous with dark brown shaft streaks, broadest on breast. The tarsi are feathered for halfway or more at front, irides are yellow, cere and bill are greyish-horn, bill is yellowish at tip and toes are greenish-yellow. Juvenile are spotted above, streaks below are more obscure.

Habitat: It is found in deep, wooded ravines, stream banks and pools in heavy, old-growth broadleaf forest, preferably near running water. It is found from plains to 2400 m.

Food habitsIt eats fish, crayfish, crabs, rodents, lizards, large beetles and large birds like partridges, pheasants and jungle fowl. It is crepuscular, nocturnal and frequently diurnal, active even in bright daylight. It hunts from perch, swooping down to capture fish near surface of water.

Breeding habits: They breed in November to February in India. They use old stick nest of raptor high in tree or nest in hollow in ravine or river bank. They lay a clutch of 1–2 eggs.