DNA of Buffy Fish Owl
Buffy Fish Owl belongs to the four fish owls that were previously generally separated in the genus Ketupa. Mitochondrial DNA cytochrome b sequence data is equivocal on which genus name is applied to them and today they are commonly lumped with the horned and eagle-owls (Bubo) which they also resemble osteologically for sake of convenience. Depending on whether some little-studied tropical eagle-owls are closer to the fish-owls than to the typical eagle-owls, Ketupa might be a valid genus if these as well as the fishing owls (formerly Scotopelia) are included in it, although there are a number of osteological differences that suggest that fishing and fish owls are not directly related to each other.
Concentration of Buffy Fish Owl
Buffy Fish Owl is found from southern Burma and central India to the south and east to Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, peninsular Thailand, the Malay Peninsula, the Riau Archipelago, Sumatra Brunei, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Indonesia down to Java, Bali and Borneo. One specimen was recorded at Cocos (Keeling) Island off Australia, 1,050 km (650 mi) outside its regular range. Its natural habitat is wet tropical forests and other woody areas near water, including wooded banks of rivers, lakes and fish ponds and rich paddies. It can survive well close to human habitations but can also be found in desolate mangrove forests and other less-inhabited or uninhabited areas. It mainly lives in lowlands but can be found at up an elevation of 1,600 meters.
Structure of Buffy Fish Owl
Buffy Fish Owl is a fairly large owl but is the smallest of the four species of fish owl. In total length, this species can range from 38 to 48 cm. The body mass can range from 1,028 to 2,100 g (2.266 to 4.630 lb), with an average weight of 1,224 gram. This species is yellowish-brown overall, with considerable variegating with pale buff. The feathers are edged tawny and the wings and tail are broadly barred yellowish and dark brown. The wings are distinctly rounded in shape when this species is seen in flight.
The under parts are a yellow-brown, rich buff or fulvous colour with broad blackish shaft-stripes. The legs are long and unfeathered. This species slightly overlaps in range with the brown fish owl, but that species is slightly larger and considerably more brown in overall colour with stronger barring and vermiculations below. The tawny fish owl may also marginally overlap with the buffy fish owl in range and is also larger with a much richer tawny colour with a more barred tail, a whiter face and about two-thirds of its tarsi feathered. Like all fish owls, the buffy fish owl has prominent ear tufts but they hang to the sides of the head rather than sit atop and are scraggly looking. This species has been attributed with a range of vocalizations. Among these recorded have included hissing sounds and a rattling kutook, repeatedly rapidly about seven times. Also recorded has been a ringing, loud pof-pof-pof and a high, hawk-like hie-e-e-e-e-keek series of notes.
Eggs of Buffy Fish Owl
The eggs of Buffy Fish Owl have mainly been found in February through April, less commonly into May through July, as in western Java, and even in September through January in the Malay Peninsula. The Buffy Fish Owl frequently nests on top of a large fern, but nests have also been recorded in the fork a tall bough covered in ferns and moss, on orchid beds and in tree holes. More rarely, rocky sites have been used as nesting sites, even behind waterfalls.
Nests of Buffy Fish Owl
The nests of Buffy Fish Owl are usually merely a scrap into the surface of a fern with no structure or lining, as owls do not build nests. Abandoned bird nests built by other species have been used, including those of brahminy kites (Haliastur indus). Only one egg has ever been recorded in a Buffy Fish Owl nest, giving them the smallest clutch size of any owl alongside the spot-bellied eagle owl (B. nipalensis), which has only ever been recorded with a single-egg clutch.
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