Mantanani Scops-Owls of Palawan, Philippines

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I and Rey Sta Ana, fellow co-founder of Wild Bird Photographers of the (WBPP), have almost given up the opportunity to photograph this species as the first sighting made our island guide so excited he forgot the exact place where he saw it, and when he brought us there he was in a quandary in what tree and branch did he first see it. His uncertainty and movements would later make the bird fly out to our utmost frustration…

But when our companion Rommel M. Cruz of Birdwatch Ornithological Society made a last ditch effort to scan the area, there he saw up above a canopy the (rufous morph, first photo).

To our great surprise some minutes later, there is a second one (brown morph, second photo) just beside it but earlier hidden by the leaves and branches.

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We though one is adult and the other an immature, but we didn’t know which. Desmond Allen later confirmed both are adults in different morphs.

MANTANANI SCOPS-OWL is listed by Birdlife International as Near Threatened because there are some indications that its very small range is occupied by a moderately small, fragmented population which is undergoing a continuing decline owing to forest loss and degradation. It is endemic to the islets off Sabah, Malaysia, and off Palawan in the Philippines, as well as to islands in the Sulu archipelago and central Philippines.

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We’re fortunate to photograph it in Pandan Island where birding has been somewhat restricted, but with the help of Puerto Princesa City Tourism Office Head Becky Labit, a very dear friend, and fellow wild bird photographer Bert Madrigal, our access to the island mas made possible thru Legend Hotel which also provided our boat transportation and accommodation.

Globally threatened (near threatened) Palawan restricted resident MANTANANI SCOPS-OWL, Pandan Island, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, September 2012… Canon EOS 5D3 + EF 300mm f/2.8L USM II + 2X TC + Benro Tripod and GH-1 Gimbal Head + Phottix Wireless Shutter Release… 1/320 (brown), 1/200 (rufous), f/7.1, iso3200, Spot Metering, Manual Exposure in Available Light.

Thank you to Canon Marketing Philippines, Inc. (CMPI) for the 5D3 and 300mm f/2.8 II, and to Rommel Cruz for guiding us.

For other photos, please visit Wild Birds of the Philippines at https://www.facebook.com/philippinebirds

Alain Pascua

Alain Pascua

Alain Pascua began in 2009 his crusade as a wild bird photographer using photos of wild birds in their natural habitats as tools for education and conservation. He is one of the founding-administrators of the "Wild Birds of the Philippine" Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/philippinebirds) where he and fellow bird photographers share their photos and galleries of Philippine wild birds to the internet world. He co-founded the Philippine Bird Photography Workshops and Tours (https://www.facebook.com/wildbirdphotog.ph) in 2011, and the Wild Bird Photographers of the Philippines (WBPP - https://www.facebook.com/groups/wbpp.admin/) in 2012. Alain Pascua’s photos of wild birds have graced the 2010 year-end advocacy ads and 2011 calendar materials of TeaM Energy, the 2011 calendar of Philippine Eagle Foundation and its 2011 advocacy posters and ads at Mindanews' Our Mindanao Magazine, the 2012 Peatlands in Southeast Asia advocacy poster of Global Environment Centre, and the newly published book Owls of the World A Photographic Guide by Heimo Mikkola. Alain Pascua won second place in the 1st Bird as Art International Bird Photography Competition organized by Art Morris in the Captive Birds Category. His galleries may be viewed online at the following sites: http://www.alainpascua.smugmug.com http://www.facebook.com/alainpascuaphotography http://www.facebook.com/philippinebirds

Alain Pascua

Alain Pascua

Alain Pascua is one of the founding-administrators of the "Wild Birds of the Philippine" Page, the only multi-photographer gallery of Philippine birds in Facebook. He also co-founded the Philippine BIrd Photography Workshops and Tours, a professional outfit, in 2011, and the Wild Bird Photographers of the Philippines (WBPP) in 2012. Alain Pascua’s photos of wild birds have graced numerous publications, the latest are featured in the newly published book Owls of the World A Photographic Guide by Heimo Mikkola. He won second place in the 1st Bird as Art International Bird Photography Competition organized by Art Morris in the Captive Birds Category.

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this is really interesting

Kathy
Kathy

Does anyone know anything of the Scops Owl in Greece. I frequently hear these in the summer evenings here in Corfu

Ignacio Yúfera

An excellent read and beautiful shots of a great bird, congratulations.

juvethski
juvethski

Great read Alain! It’s time to showcase the beauty of Philippine birds to the world 🙂