Sighting of a Barred Eagle-owl

on 11th November 2016

The Barred Eagle-owl (Bubo sumatranus sumatranus) was a resident species in the 1920s Singapore. Its status changed to “very rare, non-breeding visitor” since then. And down the years it was sighted on and off at the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and the Central Catchment Forest.

EagleOwlB [JeremiahLoei]

This time around it was seen at the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, perched quietly on a branch of a tree. The presence of a large predator naturally unnerved the smaller birds around. What normally happens is that they combine forces to mob the common enemy – see HERE and HERE.

The video below, by Jeremiah Loei, shows the owl appearing bothered by the loud calls of the Greater Racket-tailed Drongo (Dicrurus paradiseus).

In the second video (below), also by Jeremiah, the owl appears agitated. According to Wildlife Consultant Subaraj Rajathurai, the loud calls, besides those made by the drongo, include those by the Asian Fairy-bluebird (Irena puella) and a couple of Pin-striped Tit-babblers (Macronous gularis). The tit-babblers can be seen moving around disturbing the owl.

At around 0:50 and 1:19 minutes on the video are heard cat-like calls. According to Subaraj, these came from the drongo.

If anyone is curious why smaller birds will risk mobbing larger predators, click on to this LINK.

Jeremiah Loei & Subaraj Rajathurai
1st November 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.

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

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