NParks cordons off area around Telok Blangah tree to protect Sunda Scops Owls
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NParks cordons off area around Telok Blangah tree to protect Sunda Scops Owls

Telok Blangah tree cordoned off to protect Sunda Scops Owls

The National Parks Board (NParks) has cordoned off the area around the tree in a Telok Blangah HDB estate that currently houses a family of Sunda Scops Owls.

Recently, the tree’s adorable residents have attracted crowds from all over Singapore trying to snap some photographs to memorialise the rare sighting.

Crowd gathers near Telok Blangah tree to snap pictures of Sunda Scops Owls & babies

This prompted some social media users to express concern for the owls’ safety, and now NParks has taken measures to protect them.

The board has also urged members of the public to maintain a safe distance to avoid harming the owls.

Tree in Telok Blangah blocked off to protect Sunda Scops Owls from crowds

In a statement to MS News, Mr How Choon Beng, group director of wildlife management at NParks confirmed that it has blocked off the area around the tree.

Source: Nature Society Singapore on Facebook

It has also put up a sign informing the public to keep a safe distance and avoid shining lights on the owls as doing so may cause stress to the creatures.

“We urge members of public to refrain from visiting the site as large crowds and the resulting noise could disrupt the owls’ natural behaviour and cause undue stress,” said Mr How.

Source: Tan Yong Hong Alan on Facebook

Additionally, when appreciating wildlife and taking photographs, NParks suggests giving them space and observing them in their natural state.

“Refrain from feeding or the use of artificial lures and calls to attract them and do not shine light or use flash photography as it may cause the birds to become stressed,” Mr How added.

Birds are native to Singapore & primarily eat insects

The Sunda Scops Owl, or Otus lempiji, is a species native to Singapore. They are typically present in gardens, parks, and nature reserves.

Whenever available, the Sunda Scops Owl nests in natural tree hollows and cavities. The nesting season typically spans from January to June.

The Sunda Scops Owl primarily consume insects, but sometimes prey on larger animals — such as lizards or small birds — particularly during nesting periods.

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Featured image adapted from Nature Society Singapore on Facebook and Tan Yong Hong Alan on Facebook. 

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