Spotted Wood Owl

Name: Spotted Wood Owl (Strix seloputo)

Classification: Animalia > Chordata > Aves > Strigiformes > Strigidae > Strix > seloputo

Habitat: Parkland

Description: A bird that is more often heard than seen, the Spotted Wood Owl is truly a fascinating bird to watch, if you can find it. Despite its large size and predatory prowess, the Spotted Wood Owl is a shy bird, keeping perfectly still and silent in the presence of humans, and even pressing itself against the branches to hide its figure. Its preferred perch is on the branches of tall trees as it patiently stalks its prey before swooping down to catch it. In the evenings, one is alerted to the presence of this bird by a single eerie hoot, a low barking woo. The Spotted Wood Owl is a huge brown bird with white spots dotting its upperparts, which resembles the bark of trees and makes the owl almost impossible to find even in broad daylight. It has a striped abdomen and a light brown face which resembles thick rings around its eyes, but lacks the ear-tufts characteristic of some owls.

Call: No current recording of the owl’s call exists. If you are able to record this bird’s call, drop me a message using the feedback form and I will arrange for your recording to go on this site with the appropriate credits.

Distribution: Due to the sensitive nature of this critically endangered bird’s location, I shall not be publishing exact details of where this bird can be found.

Photo Gallery:


4 thoughts on “Spotted Wood Owl

  1. Pingback: Owls on Campus – Yale and NUS « A Y-VISP NUS STUDENTS BLOG

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    • Hi Joanna, thanks for commenting. You’re right in saying that the Spotted Wood Owl is considered by the IUCN to be a species of least concern. However, locally in Singapore it’s classified in the Red Data Book as critically endangered (see:

      While I do disagree with this classification (partly because local conservation status has, up till now, been based on sighting incidences rather than reliable estimates of true abundance and the fact that the Spotted Wood Owl has recently made a stunning population rebound), the local critically endangered status will remain until the next revision comes along.

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