Traveling to Delhi for work last spring, I was not very optimistic about birding there. Still, I contacted a local guide and shot for the moon: “Can you show me any owls”? Much to my surprise, he could, all within an hour`s drive of my hotel in Delhi (which after all is a contender for the most populous city in the world, similar to Shanghai, where I live).

The Brown Fish Owl is the most common of all Fish Owls. Its ear tufts seem to be almost horizontal rather than vertical.

This Dusky Eagle Owl is blind on one eye but still seems to be doing ok. Well, it mostly hunts at night, when it is dark anyway.

This Indian Eagle Owl was relentlessly mobbed by some crows. Makes it easy to find the bird, but oh, poor owl … (and of course, difficult to get a good photo as the crows always found the owl first)

My favorite, however, was the smallest, the Spotted Owlet. And as an added bonus, it was also the easiest to see, and the most common one. Somehow, it is a perfect combination of looking both cute and fierce – even if it is just stretching its legs …


More owls here.

Written by Kai Pflug
Kai Pflug has been living in Shanghai for 20 years. He only became interested in birds in China – so he is much more familiar with birds in China than with those in Germany. While he will only ever be an average birder, he aims to be a good bird photographer and has created a website with bird photos as proof. He hopes not too many clients of his consulting company read this blog, as they will doubt his dedication to providing consulting services related to China`s chemical industry. Whenever he wants to shock other birders, he tells them his (indoor) cats can distinguish several warblers by taste.