This year is probably the best year for the Philippine Eagle-Owl. The year started with a sighting of a family of Philippine Eagle-Owls right in busy Manila, with the mother and father eagle-owl guarding a immature roosting in a planters box (check out Birding Adventure Philippines’ Trinket Canlas blogpost about this encounter here).
Several of our tours this year also saw these very hard-to-find endemic in its usual habitat – forest and forest edge in Subic. And now, another local birder has reported another Philippine Eagle-Owl family – in a very unusual place – in a rock shelter containing the oldest work of art in the Philippines: the Angono Petroglyphs in Angono/Binangonan, Rizal just in the outskirts of Manila.
So for birders going there, you get to see the owl and also the petroglyphs, experiencing both natural and cultural history just in one place.
The Philippine Eagle-Owl is the largest owl in the Philippines, and one of the largest owls in the world. Measuring up to 20 inches, it preys on small rodents like rats, mice and shrews and also small lizards. Check out the skulls from the pellets we have recovered from the site.
This species, just like many of the Philippines’ nocturnal birds, is very poorly known with very little information on breeding habits and ecology. In the video, the first part features the adult female guarding the newly-fledged immature from a nearby tree. The immature can be seen at around 2:30 minutes into the video.