Rare Singapore Owl Spotted in Telok Blangah!  NParks Steps in to Protect Chicks?

Rare Singapore Owl Spotted in Telok Blangah! NParks Steps in to Protect Chicks?

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By Anthony Teo on 08 May 2024

Look who just hooted their way into the spotlight! Two fluffy Sunda Scops owl chicks were spotted chilling in a Telok Blangah tree on Sunday, May 5th. These little feathery fashionistas aren't usually seen hanging out in urban jungles, making their appearance a rare treat. Birdwatchers and shutterbugs went flapping their wings with excitement, with some estimates saying about 50 'birders' gathered around the nest by Sunday!


Birding alert! These adorable Sunda Scops owls have taken up residence in Telok Blangah. Photo from FB | Daniel Neo

While everyone wants to cuddle these cuties, the sight quickly became a hoot-and-holler for a different reason. A growing number of residents, along with some netizens, expressed concern about the crowds. The Sunda owl is on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) list, but as a "least concern species."

Rare sight in urban areas! These shy owls typically prefer forests, making this Telok Blangah sighting special. Photo from FB | Daniel Neo

The bigger worry? The owls themselves! These shy creatures can get stressed by too much attention, and some worried the parents might even abandon their chicks. One resident living near the nest even chimed in, saying the constant crowd peering in was disturbing their peace (and maybe the owls' too!).

Saving the Day (and the Owls): NParks & ACRES Step In?

Enter the National Parks Board (NParks) to the rescue! Recognizing the potential for trouble, they roped off the area to keep the paparazzi (and curious onlookers) at bay. Animal Concerns Research Society (ACRES) is also reminding folks to keep their distance and for photographers to be ethical, avoiding flash photography.

Keep your distance! Large crowds can disturb the owls. Observe from afar and avoid flash photography.Photo from Alvin Lim/Singapore Wildlife Sightings Facebook group.

But hey, this sighting is a fantastic reminder! Singapore's got a wilder side than you might think, with all sorts of amazing creatures lurking in our green spaces. So, keep your eyes peeled, and who knows, you might just spot the next wildlife superstar! Just remember, respect goes a long way, especially with our feathered friends.

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