On many evenings Art Toh visited Holland Drive at around 6pm to keep watch on a pair of Spotted Wood-owls (Strix seloputo). This pair was usually found in their favourite tree. If they were not there, they could be easily located by their characteristic growls followed by loud barks, usually at around dusk. Soon after they would fly off to forage. On this particular evening Art Toh hit jackpot.
At around 7.08 pm the wood-owls started their mating ritual. There were duetting in a sort of a series of barks. At the same time the wings of both were somewhat vibrating. Then suddenly the male jumped on the back of the female. Balancing precariously, the male hung on to the female while the latter gripped her toes tightly on the perch to maintain her hold on the branch. Using his wings to balance, the male eventually managed to turn his tail around so as his cloaca made contact with hers. This was when his sperms were transferred into the cloaca of the female, and this is known as the cloacal kiss. End of copulation.
This is another example where videography has proven to be superior to images in documenting bird behaviour.
8th March 2019
This post is a cooperative effort between Birds, Insects N Creatures Of Asia and BESG to bring the study of birds and their behaviour through photography and videography to a wider audience.