Buffy Fish-owl on a tightrope

on 7th March 2017

FishOwlBu-walk [JamesTann] 1

James Tann’s sequential images of the Buffy Fish-owl (Ketupa ketupu) walking a ‘tightrope’ at the Singapore Botanical Gardens poses the question of how does a big bird walk across a narrow tree limb? The answer according to James: “Like an acrobat on a tightrope, except that it uses its outstretched wings as a balance pole!”

FishOwlBu-walk [JamesTann] 2

The undersurface of this owl’s feet is covered with sharp pointed structures, adapted for holding on to the slippery fish, its main food. Such adaptation comes in useful in gripping onto the narrow branch when it goes on a “tightrope” walk.

FishOwlBu-walk [JamesTann] 3

And the pair of wide, broad, rounded wings also helps. They provide balance during the walk.

FishOwlBu-walk [JamesTann] 4

James Tann
9th February 2017

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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