Buffy Fish-owl on a tightrope

posted in: Morphology-Develop., Owls | 1

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
Singapore
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.

One Response

  1. Sun Chong Hong

    It may not be a big bird, but no sweat for Rose-ringed parakeet. See

    a) http://www.besgroup.org/2013/10/15/rose-ringed-parakeet-feasting-on-peacock-flower/

    b) http://www.besgroup.org/2011/09/26/rose-ringed-parakeet-taking-peacock-flower-seeds/

    For the second video clip, I commented that “Walking while foraging instead of hopping movements for birds such as mynas, orioles and starlings”

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