Tawny Fish Owl (Ketupa flavipes)

Tawny Fish Owl

[order] STRIGIFORMES | [family] Strigidae | [latin] Ketupa flavipes | [authority] Hodgson, 1836 | [UK] Tawny Fish Owl | [FR] Ketupa roux | [DE] Himalaya-Fischuhu | [ES] Buho Pescador Leonado | [NL] Himalaja-visuil


Genus Species subspecies Region Range
Ketupa flavipes OR Himalayas to Southeast Asia


The Asian Fish-Owls of the genus Ketupa comprises of three species, all occurring within Indian limits. They are large and powerful birds, with the tarsus partly
or wholly naked and granular, much like that of the Osprey, and the soles of the feet covered with prickly scales. The claws are large, well curved, each with a sharp cutting-edge beneath, and the middle claw with a sharp keel on the inside also. Aigrettes are present, long and pointed. The bill is large and strong. The facial disk is ill-marked, especially above. The wings are rounded, and do not reach the end of the tail, 4th quill generally the longest, 3rd and 5th subequal ; tail moderate.

Physical charateristics

A large heavily dark-streaked, rich orange-rufous owl. Usually shows a white throat patch and distinct white eyebrows. Tarsi partly covered and ear tufts often very bushy. It is distinguished from its cousin, the commoner Brown Fish Owl, by its larger size, its more orange upperparts and bolder black streaking.

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 48 cm size max.: 55 cm
incubation min.: 0 days incubation max.: 0 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 0 days
broods: 0   eggs min.: 1  
      eggs max.: 3  


Oriental Region : Himalayas to Southeast Asia


The owls usually live in mountains at altitudes of 50m to 2,400m and tend to remain close to the upper reaches of rivers


It lays its eggs in old raptor nests high up or in hollows in river banks. Clutch size is 2 eggs.

Feeding habits

It eats fish, crabs, shrimps, frogs, toads, lizards, snakes, and small mammals such as moles, and particularly rodents like mice, voles and rats. It also prey on birds like Mandarin duck in Taiwan

Video Tawny Fish Owl


copyright: Pieter de Groot Boersma


This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Tawny Fish Owl status Least Concern


Presumed sedentary

Distribution map

Tawny Fish Owl distribution range map

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