Philippine eagle-owl
Bubo philippensis.jpg
At Avilon Zoo, Rodriguez, Rizal, Philippines
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Strigiformes
Family: Strigidae
Genus: Bubo
Species:
B. philippensis
Binomial name
Bubo philippensis

Kaup, 1851

The Philippine eagle-owl (Bubo philippensis) is a vulnerable species of owl belonging to the family Strigidae. It is endemic to the Philippines, where found in lowland forests on the islands of Catanduanes, Samar, Bohol, Mindanao, Luzon, Leyte and possibly Sibuyan. It is known locally as the kuwago or bukaw.

Taxonomy

There are two subspecies:

  • Bubo philippensis philippensis – Luzon and Catanduanes
  • Bubo philippensis mindanensis – Mindanao, Leyte, Samar and Bohol. Darker and more heavily streaked than the nominate.

Description


At Malagos Garden Resort, Davao City, Philippines

With a total length of 40–50 cm (15.5–19.5 in) and a wing-length of about 35 cm (14 in), it is the largest owl in the Philippines, but among the smallest members of the genus Bubo. It is overall rufous with a lighter belly and yellow eyes.

Habitat

This owl inhabits forest edges near streams. They rest in a tree the day and hunts at dusk to feed on small vertebrates. The Philippine eagle-owl is the largest owl in the country.

Behavior

Little is known about the behavior of this secretive species, but the powerful feet suggest it feeds on small mammals and birds.

This eagle-owl lays one egg per clutch and has an incubation period of 35 days.

Breeding in captivity

In December 2005, Negros Forests and Ecological Foundation (NFEFI) in Bacolod City was the first conservation center in the world to successfully hatch a Philippine eagle-owl (aptly nicknamed Bubo) in captivity and it has the only breeding pair of these owls in captivity anywhere in the world.

On November 21, 2005, conservationists at the center made world history when it successfully bred in captivity a Philippine eagle-owl. Notably NFEFI had first secured the first-ever captive breeding loan between DENR-accredited institutions in the Philippines, consisting of three pairs of eagle-owls from the Avilon Montalban Zoological Park in Montalban, Rizal and transported them to Bacolod City in December 2002. Two pairs showed attraction, and the couple Hinahon and Suplada—local terms for “calm” and “snob”—made courtship. It was on November 21, 2005, that an owlet was discovered in the nest, about three days old, and named Bubo. As Bubo grew, Suplada taught it how to tear pieces of mouse meat, thus rearing it.

In 2006, Suplada also laid one egg and another owlet was hatched through the aid[clarification needed] of the World Owl Trust, Flora and Fauna International-Philippine Biodiversity Conservation program and the Avilon Zoological Park in Montalban Rizal.