Buffy Fish-owl: The chick has fledged

posted in: Morphology-Develop., Nesting, Owls | 0

For the Buffy Fish-owl (Ketupa ketupu), the incubation period is reported to be 28-29 days. Once the egg is hatched, the chick will fledge within 6 weeks.

Based on the above and working backwards, the female Buffy Fish-owl laid her egg in the Bird’s Nest Fern (Asplenium nidus) at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve around the second week of February 2016.

FishOwlB-jv [JWee]

The single chick, seen between the bases of the fronds of the Bird’s Nest Fern (above) would probably be about 2 weeks old. Note that the chick is covered with white down feathers. This fern is commonly used by these owls as a convenient nesting site.

The six weeks old chick has moved out of the nest onto to a branch and ready to fledge (above). The down feathers have all been replaced with adult feathers.

FishOwlB-jv [JWee]

Above shows it in a crouching stance with head lowered, contemplating its first flight.

FishOwlB-jv [JWee]

Stretching its right wing prior to flapping both is a way to strengthen the muscles (above).

FishOwlB-jv [JWee]

Crouched, with head lowered and wings at the ready (above), just before lunging into the open space below… This would be its first flight, with the adults nearby encouraging it to leave the nesting tree. Once fledged, the juvenile will follow the adults for a few weeks(?) to learn how to find food, hone its hunting skills, avoid predators, etc. The juvenile will then be chased away to lead an independent life.

Johnny Wee
Singapore
29th April 2016

This post is a cooperative effort between Birds, Insects N Creatures Of Asia and BESG to bring the study of birds and their behavior through photography and videography to a wider audience.

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