Spotted Wood-owl mating

on 17th March 2019

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.

Art Toh
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.

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.

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