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Picture information:
Bird species: Brown Fish Owl - (Ketupa zeylonensis)
Bird species (IOC): Brown Fish Owl (Ketupa zeylonensis) - species factsheet
Voice: Voices can be found here (external link).
Location: Green Canyon/Oymapinar Baraji, Turkey
Date: 17th June 2011
Picture info: Photos by Per Jacob Pilgaard and Jan Pilgaard

This record could be the first public known record of the Brown Fish Owl within WP.

And even better – the bird can be viewed from tourist boat trips. The bird has already been seen and photographed by thousands of tourist, so forwarding the information to Netfugls users will surely not do any harm to the population.

The photos above and beneath was taken on a family holiday to Turkey. Since the family didn’t know what owl it was, the photos were forwarded to the father of one of the participants. After the ID was given, Netfugl has tried to solve the puzzle in order to forward as much detailed information about the record as possible.

The family were on a guided boat trip on the water reservoir Green Canyon/Oymapinar Baraji when the guide (captain on the boat) in the end of the trip told the group to pay attention to two caves on the steep part of the mountain, since it was possible to see an owl in each cave. The group was told that this owl was rare and only found in areas like this. The captain stopped the boat there for several minutes so everybody could see and get pictures of the owl. The "shadow" of the owl can be seen in one of the photos of the cave beneath.

The bird was sitting in the part called “Little Canyon” which, to Netfugls knowledge, is the small canyon to the southeast in the Green Canyon/Oymapinar Baraji area.

The area can be viewed here: 36°54'4.64"N 31°34'38.28"E or
Degrees Lat Long: 36.9012889°, 031.5773000°
Degrees Minutes: 36°54.07733', 031°34.63800'
Degrees Minutes Seconds: 36°54'04.6400", 031°34'38.2800"

Apparently boat trips are from the Oymapinar Dam in the south western part of the lake. Many photos from the area can be viewed at Google Earth.

Since the area is located north of Side and pretty close to Antalya and Alanya it should be fairly easy for birders on summer holiday in Turkey to follow up on the information.

Netfugl would be delighted to receive additional information from visiting birders since many WP listers at Netfugl, haven’t seen the species yet.

Public tourist trips are numerous and popular:
Public tourist trips are numerous and popular

Entering the Little Canyon:
Entering the Little Canyon

The cave with the Owl:
The cave with the Owl

The cave with the Owl

The guy to the left took the following photos of the owl:
The owl

The owl

The owl

Click for details from Dutch Birding regarding the first breeding record in WP

Click for an YouTube video from the area

Photographer: via Morten Bentzon Hansen, Denmark
Uploaded: 17th July 2011
Hits: The picture has been viewed 18007 times.


Jens Søgaard Hansen writes Sunday July 17th 2011, 9:45 pm
Tommy Frandsen will "check" this information "on location" tomorrow. An update will follow as soon as we know about the result :-)

Jens Søgaard Hansen writes Monday July 18th 2011, 2:29 pm
The Brown Fish Owl was seen today by Tommy Frandsen. Further details will follow later.

Jens Søgaard Hansen writes Tuesday July 19th 2011, 10:34 am
Tommy had two owls down to 15 meters in broad daylight under the same circumstances as described under this photo. Apparently another pair of owls is also to be seen in the west end of the lake but they didn’t go to see them.

If anyone need urgent further information before he get back home please feel free to contact him by SMS (004527127688). When he gets back home more details will be posted under this photo.

Morten Bentzon Hansen writes Tuesday July 19th 2011, 11:26 am

Tommy did also mention that he was on a boat with 100 people and by talking with the captain, he got a longer stop at the place than originally intended. So birders might talk to the captain beforehand to secure a longer stop at the place.

With two pairs in the lake there will surely be more birds in the lakes south of of the Green Canyon/Oymapinar Baraji area.

If someone has additional information about the area and how to see the bird, Netfugl would be very interested to receive this information.

Tommy Frandsen writes Saturday July 23rd 2011, 9:33 am
Hi all, 3 birds seen today, 1 ad. and 2 juv. At little cannyon. more info later today

Tommy Frandsen writes Saturday July 23rd 2011, 7:19 pm
Hi al,

This is how to find the Fish owl.

The tours to the Green Canyon (boat trips) can very easily be booked in all the bazaars around Side and Alanya. I payed 35 euro including transport to Green Canyon. Just go find one of the travel agencies...

It is also possible to rent a boat for yourself from this homepage www.greencannyon.com.tl. The price for 4 birders is 600 euro and 50 euro for extra persons - so little more expensive. The boat can bring 10 persons.

If going for the boat trips with your own car then first drive to the Dam. You will see a tunnel, drive through this tunnel. After 430 meters the road split. If you take the left one you will get to where the boat’s start. It should be possible to buy the ticked there for 25 euro, don’t know when they start, but I think it is around 0900? The first boat`s, will do the lake clockwise, going to the grand canyon first and the little canyon last, the trip takes around 4 hours. From around 1100 they will start with little canyon. If you take the right road, then I was told that it was possible to drive all the way to the restaurant, but looking at Google earth, it looks like you can go much closer? Might be worth a try?

Regards, Tommy

The tree where I saw the owls (GPS 36°54'7.17"N 31°34'39.18"E):

The tree where I saw the owls

Little canyon seen from the lake. The big rock on the left hand is close to the place where I saw the owls:

This is another place (potentially interesting), directly north of the dam, on the opposite side. Here there is a steep hillside where I saw a cave with a possible owl nesting? The cave is located diagonally down to the right, it resembles a large cave on the image. It might be possible, to investigate with a telescope, from where the boat`s start?. (GPS 36°55'25.70"N 31°33'15.08"Ø for the Cave with possible owls nesting?):

Ernst Albegger writes Sunday July 24th 2011, 8:44 am
Hi all,

together with 5 other Austrian birders we observed the 2 adults and one juvenile at the little canyon yesterday. Detailed infos will follow later, it was - as anyone can imagine - an incredible adventure! Thanks to Tommy Frandsen at this point, who kindly offered us help in planning this short trip to Turkey!

Best regards

Ernst Albegger writes Sunday July 24th 2011, 10:50 pm
Hi all,

you will find a summary of the trip to Western Browh Fish Owl with useful infos under the following link:


Best regards

Jorrit Vlot writes Wednesday July 27th 2011, 6:26 pm
Today we (5 Dutch birders) rented a boat with the guide mentioned in the trip report above at the Green Canyon, and visited the place. Success was almost guaranteed, but unfortunately luck wasn't with us today. We visited the best spot several times, but we failed everywhere. Also at the other spots, no Fish Owls were present.

Seems like it is not 100% sure you'll find them when you go there, or we were extremely unfortunate :s

Still 2 days left to find the birds...

Jorrit Vlot writes Friday July 29th 2011, 1:10 pm
Today we tried it again... and we succeeded! Happiness all over the place of course! What an excitement after we missed the bird two days ago.

And it was immediately clear that it was present. As soon as we had views on the tree (where all the white droppings are below of it) we looked into the eyes of an adult Brown Fish owl! After enjoyable views, we checked the rest of the trees and rocks, but we could only find this one (but we didn't care at all of course)

So at least one bird is still present, but as we unfortunately showed... it's not guaranteed that you'll see it immediately on your first visit.

PS. Two pics can be found here: http://www.pbase.com/ruben_jorrit/image/136794773

Ji&345;í Zajíc writes Monday August 22nd 2011, 10:33 pm
I visited the Green Canyon/Oymapinar Baraji last Wednesday (August 17th). We reached by boat the little canyon "counterclockwise" at 10:00 am, but no Brown Fish Owls were present :-(

Cem Erayan writes Tuesday February 7th 2012, 2:16 am
Dear friends
as you know Brown Fish Owls are very rare in europe and the only country they live in europe is turkey and they are estimated to be approximately 10 couples living in.
3 to 4 couples are estimated to live in Antalya region and UNFORTUNATELY they are discovered by local people who do'nt know they are at the limit of extinction.
I pray you to not to disturb these rare specimens if you are not really involved in ornithology and to ERASE the GPS coordinates given in this topic.
If there are people who want to make researches on these owls they can get the coordinates from interested person but, to the name of turkish birders, we don't prefer that just for curiosity people disturb these rare specimens if not because of disturbences they shell leave their caves and it will be impossible to follow them and it will be more difficult for them to find another convenient place to survive.
Thank you in advance for your cooperation and your understanding
Cem Erayan / 1drcem@gmail.com

Miguel Demeulemeester writes Tuesday April 3rd 2012, 12:11 pm
Hi all,

Early July 2012, I'm planning a short family trip to southern Turkey...
Anyone interested to go along a dedicated boat trip to try to see the Brown Fish Owls at Little Canyon?
I have the necessary local contacts to get a tour arranged, only it would be cheaper if some more folks would join.
If interested, please contact me by e-mail


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