Monday, May 23, 2011

Bagtingon Monkey-faced Owls

I was so amazed to find these birds in Bagtingon last weekend. It was my first time to see these species of owls found in the diminishing forest cover south of this island.

Owls are supposed to be nocturnal but these domesticated trio were active at the time I saw them, which was around 3:00 pm, now and then flapping their wings then gliding between the trees and showing off their seemingly-knowing stares at anyone.

These owls have a heart-shaped facial disc, brown eyes, pinkish beak, dark brown and grey feathers and off-white front with tiny speckles in their body. They would gobble up whole fishes, spit out the fins still intact after digesting the meat and organs, and would only accept a different type of fish for food the next day, so said their owner.

Surely, these birds must have felt the combined pressure from development, fires and logging and appear happy to consider the bird-loving owner’s small property their exclusive territory.