Spotted Wood Owl sunbathing

on 20th April 2010

Richard Lim’s images of a spotted Wood Owl (Strix seloputo) sunning (left) raise two questions: do owls sun themselves and in the middle of the day at that.

According to Mark et al. (1999), although owls are considered nocturnal, not all species are active only during the night. There are species that hunt during the day and even nocturnal species will catch a prey if it happens to pass below its perch. However, Strix spp., of which the Spotted Wood Owl is one, are by and large nocturnal.

Mark et al. (1999) further state that owls indulge in the range of comfort activities observed in other groups of birds. Preening, scratching, dusting, stretching and even bathing can take place during the night, although it has been reported that bathing also occurs during the day. As for sunning, this can only take place in the day.

Richard’s observation of the Spotted Wood Owl sunning at noon is a valuable record.

Marks, J. S., R. J. Cannings & H. Mikkola, 1999. Family Strigidae (Typical Owls). In: del Hoyo, J., A. Elliott & J. Sargatal (eds.), Handbook of the birds of the world. Vol. 5. Barn-owls to hummingbirds. Lynx Editions, Barcelona. Pp. 76-242.

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

Other posts by YC Wee

6 Responses

  1. I looked this up because I saw an owl doing this exact thing the other day right outside of my apartment window. It was about 1:30pm and it was laying in a sunny area right on the edge of the woods just like that spotted one except the one I saw had it’s head all the way back so it’s beak was pointing straight up into the air and you really couldn’t see it’s head. My girlfriend took a couple pics of it laying there. I’m pretty sure it was a Barred owl, it’s tail looked kind of like a ruffed grouse tail all spread out.

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