This is a Sulu Hawk-Owl, one of the Philippines’ 24 owl species. This endemic owl was videoed on the island of Panglima Sugala, Tawi-Tawi province. The Sulu Hawk-Owl is endemic to the Sulu Archipelago, a group of islands located in the south western Philippines very close to the island of Borneo. The Sulu Archipelago has been treated as a separate Endemic Bird Area (EBA) due to several species of birds that are found only in this region and nowhere else. The other endemic species in the area include the Sulu Hornbill, Sulu Bleeding-heart Pigeon, Blue-winged Racket-tail, Sulu Pygmy Woodpecker and Tawi-tawi Brown-Dove. Aside from the birds, this is the only place in the Philippines where you can see Slow Loris. The Sulu Archipelago is also known for their unspoiled beaches and amazing marine life.
Unfortunately, a big part of the Sulu Archipelago (the island groups of Jolo and Basilan) have been subject to years of conflict between terrorist groups and Philippine military forces. Proper planning and coordination with Philippine authorities should be made in advance if you desire to see these birds.
Sulu Hawk-Owl Ninox reyi
November 2015, Panglima Sugala, Tawi Tawi, Philippines
Video by Nicky Icarangal, JR.
Digiscoped with a Swarovski ATX 95 HD, Panasonic GH3 with Swarovski TLS-APO adapter.