Family Typical Owls (Strigidae)

Least Concern

Tawny Fish-owl (Ketupa flavipes)


French: Kétoupa roux German: Himalajafischuhu Spanish: Búho pescador leonado

Cultrunguis Flavipes


, 1836,



Probably closest to K. ketupu, the two replacing each other geographically. See also K. zeylonensis. Monotypic.


Himalayas from NW India (Himachal), Nepal and Bhutan to NE India, E to C China and Taiwan, and S to N Bangladesh, NE Myanmar and S Indochina.

Descriptive notes

48–58 cm; no data on body mass. Large fish-owl with prominent horizontal ear tufts. Facial disc orange-rufous with indistinct dark border; above, rich orange-rufous or... read more


Territorial song of male a deep, booming “whoo-huwooh”; also gives a downslurred "... read more


Deep, wooded ravines, stream banks and pools in heavy, old-growth broadleaf forest, preferably near... read more

Food and feeding

Diet mostly fish in many areas; also crayfish, crabs, rodents, lizards, large beetles; often kills large birds, including partridges,... read more


Poorly known. Lays Nov–Feb in W of range. Eggs laid in old stick nest of raptor high in tree, in hollow in ravine or river bank, or... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Formerly considered Near Threatened. In W, very rare and local to uncommon; status elsewhere very poorly known, possibly... read more

Recommended citation

Holt, D.W., Berkley, R., Deppe, C., Enríquez Rocha, P., Petersen, J.L., Rangel Salazar, J.L., Segars, K.P., Wood, K.L. & Marks, J.S. (2019). Tawny Fish-owl (Ketupa flavipes). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 19 June 2019).