Thursday, June 6

summer is family in subic!

summer is family time not only to humans, but to many resident birds as well! when the migrants start leaving, many of the resident feathered creatures take the opportunity for continuation of their species: breeding time! many birds are in the process of nesting or fledging their young, quite a vulnerable time for them.

a quick trip to subic in may gave us a chance to check on the blue-throated bee-eater apartments.  the bee-eaters were busy catching not only bees, but hornets, dragonflies, butterflies and other 6-legged creatures. 

the bee-eaters with an assortment of insects caught on the wing

they would perch on the electric cables and carefully (if not suspiciously!) observe their surroundings before flying in to the entrance of their nest holes.  the food is then quickly passed to a partner inside the burrows. the exchange happens in a flash, and the hard working parent is back gracefully catching insects on the wing.


food delivery!

at nabasan, we spotted another family at work. well, adri did first. a small, green parrot was sitting quietly on a branch, perfectly camouflaged looking like the green leaves around it. 

an unusually quiet parrot

at first i was confused. it was all green and had a whitish grey beak. was it a guiaiabero?

it was a green racquet-tail!  but it didn't have any racquets! and it was unusually quiet. then a second racquet-tail flew in, also quieter than normal. it started face rubbing and feeding the first one. it was a parent racquet-tail and it was looking after a young one, maybe even newly fledged! it was an "aaaaw!" moment.

mom/dad comes in with some food and a cheek-to-cheek rub

soon the parent stepped away from its offspring, took a a little time to preen, then flew off again, leaving the younger bird. barely moving, the parrot melted back  into the leaves.

are they not the exact same color as the leaves?

there were many other birds that day.

a troop of rufous coucals moved about in the vines and tangles. it's always amusing to follow their movement. individual birds move about one after the other, mimicking the movement of the previous bird, often landing on the exact same perch or following the same flight path, almost like they were playing simons says. a group of four gathered on a branch and then left one at a time.

four rufous coucals! three rufous coucals! two rufous coucals! one! one rufous coucal! 
ahahahaha! (lightning and thunder in the background)

there were many tarictic hornbills out also, honking as they flew from tree-top to tree-top. woodpeckers flew in pairs, the balicassiaos were also their usual noisy selves, as were the blue-naped parrots.

hello mr hornbill! where is the mrs?

hello mr sooty woodpecker!

a balicassiao scratching an itch

one of many (noisy) blue-naped parrots

it was a good birding day.  as the sun set and a half moon lightened the forest around us, we heard the soft grunts and hoots of owls and the haunting call of the great-eared nightjars.  again the chocolate boobook called from the branches high above us. did i finally get to see it this time? of course not. (this may not be the day AGAIN boobook, but i will get you! one day i WILL get you!)


  1. Subic is the best! I have yet to see my first racquet tail though...

    Super cute the Rufous Coucals leaving one at a time!

    1. Agree with you, Maia: Subic is the best!
      Hope you see the racquet-tail soon! In Subic, it will surely be the Green Racquet-tail.