Friday, April 20

(not my) backyard owl family

unfortunately for me, not my backyard this time!

 i was so envious of co-birder & friend jops j when he had reported a fledgling philippine scops owl at his qc residence backyard!

i jumped at the opportunity to do the ultimate dude-birding:  chatting with fellow birders at jops' garden veranda while waiting for the owl to show up!  every now and then somebody from the household would pop in to ask "are they there yet?" everyone in the house had already seen the owls, and who wouldn't be thrilled to have owls in the backyard?

finally, we (myself more belatedly than the others!) heard a soft, high-pitched hissing sound. the young owl was nearby!  it was such an unfamiliar sound to me, i had never seen a young scops owl before and all i was familiar with was the grunting call of the adult. who would've thought we'd all get this lesson in scops owl calls in a birder's garden in the middle of the city?!?

sitting quietly on a bench, we finally spotted the juvenile bird perched on the mango tree at the neighbors' house.  illuminated by  flashlight, it was eating a small house gecko! as it was enjoying its meal, we heard a second juvenile calling somewhere nearby! 2 young owls! we were all in a flurry of excitement and we spotted the adults soon after. 

such a fluffy juvenile philippine scops owl!

one of the adults still looking out after the young owls

angry young bird: "isn't it time you birders went home?"

the combination of comfortable and convenient location (garden benches), friendly conversation (birders will never run out of bird stories!) and a very good endemic bird (note: an owl!) was dangerous: our "quick" birding sortie ended 6 hours after we arrived! thank you jops for a thoroughly wonderful experience, sorry to have kept you up so late!

coincidentally, although he had been hearing the owl prior to that, he and partner maia, first sighted the fledgling on the day marking their 2nd year as birders! what a wonderful reward to such a generous birding couple.

as the juveniles expand their range, i am hoping that more people get to enjoy owls in their backyards too! here's to having even more owls in the city, large or small! 


  1. Wonderful!!! :) Love the Scops Owls.

  2. thanks mel! yup! love them little owls!

  3. great photos! and another great blog post! =) thanks for the links!

  4. syempre ngayon lang nag-register sakin yung mga last paragraphs (super weng weng na ako last night, alam ni Mel yun, hehe) =) thank you Trinket! =)

  5. hahaha oo nga Maia akala ko I'm reading things wrong. Tapos meron sa email wala sa actual. hahaha

  6. sakit ko yan pag antok ako... as in!!! sorry talaga! (mas) weird ako pag antok na ako =P

  7. maia + mel: mejo na lost ako sa conversation nyo ... pero sige. :-)