Saturday, January 14, 2012

Philippine Eagle-Owl, Quezon City - 14 Jan 2012

An amazing twitch to a suburb of Manila called Quezon City. In the grounds of the Water Authority a pair of Philippine Eagle-Owls have successfully raised a chick. The nest was on an old blocked off balcony on the third floor. The birds were first publicised a week ago, shortly before the fledgling made its maiden flight last Saturday, but it has been hanging around in the grounds along with its parents ever since. The area consists of a handful of acres of basically rubbish woodland, but apparently this pair have been here for some years, and have successfully raised a succession of chicks. The closest area of what might be termed 'suitable' habitat is several kilometres away. These birds are scarce throughout the Philippines, and very rarely seen by birders. An early contender for 'Bird of the year 2012', I'm not sure what else could compete with it!

An extraordinary record which I would quite frankly not have believed had I not seen it for myself.

Probably one of the adults. This and a second bird (fledgling?) started calling at about 6:15pm, and were quickly located. They stayed in the first tree for 10 minutes or so, moving to the larger tree adjacent to the nest site. We watched them for a further 10 minutes, then elected to leave them alone. We heard both the full call, and a series of low grunts, a short-distance contact call presumably.

Thanks to Alex Loinaz for this and subsequent photographs, and to Karen Ochavo for getting us into the grounds

A threatening pose from what I am presuming to be one of the adults
Slightly more rufous, no apparent black streaking on the crown, and with less heavily marked undertail coverts, I presume this is the juvenile.


  1. Wow! What a wonderful owl and super find. Love the eyes and colours in the photograph.

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