This morning when I woke up Joy told me that she found a weird bird in our garden. She was about to feed the dogs when something on my mom’s gumamela plant caught her eye. From afar she thought it was a large rat so she freaked out (Joy’s terrified of mice) and called Donna to kill it for her. But upon closer inspection, they found that it was actually a large brown bird. It looked very weak and didn’t move when they approached it, so they decided to capture it and place it in our bird cage for safekeeping before any of our dogs get to it.
At first I found it strange that Joy could mistake a bird for a rat, but when she showed it to me, I instantly understood why:
It does look like a large rodent from afar, doesn’t it?
It’s a small owl if you compare it to the ones you see in Harry Potter movies. I haven’t seen that many real owls IRL so I’m not really sure how big they really are, but it’s still pretty big compared to the birds we normally see in our garden. (That cage in the picture above is quite big, it’s about 6 feet tall and 2ft in diameter. It’s normally empty since we don’t have any pet birds. We’re always worried that our dogs will kill them. My mom bought this cage along with some love birds back when my grandpa was alive because he loved taking care of them. The birds died a long time ago, but we kept the cage.)
I’ve been searching online and it looks like this guy is a Philippine Scops Owl. According to Wikipedia, they’re one of the 16 species of owls in the Philippines and can be found in the pine forests of Luzon. I’m not sure if we have any pine forests near our house, but based on this guy’s brown coat and red eyes (and the pictures I’ve seen online), I’m pretty sure that it’s a scops owl.
I just find it so strange that an owl appeared in our garden right after I played this video nonstop last night:
(A must watch for anyone who loves the Harry Potter soundtrack)
Maybe I should start calling him/her Hedwig? But we’re not planning on keeping it because there’s a Filipino superstition that owls bring bad luck and/or death. Also, this guy looks really young and we’re worried that it will die without the proper care, so we’re looking for people who would know how to nurse it. I dropped by the Makiling Botanical Gardens earlier today to see if their Center for Philippine Raptors would take it, but apparently the center has been moved to Quezon City and now they don’t have the proper facilities to care for these types of birds. They advised us to just set him/her free, but we’re worried that it’s too young and it might die on its own. Right now we’re still asking around for people who would be willing to take him. In the meantime, I’ll be out in our garden looking for any Hogwarts letter that this little guy might have dropped.
Get well soon and fly to Hogwarts little owl!
UPDATE: Someone suggested we seek help from the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) so we called them and they told us that they would be more than happy to pick the owl up at our house and take care of it. They also informed us that someone turned in an owl of similar age to this one earlier today. They’re guessing the two might be siblings and were out for flying lessons when they got lost. Anyway they dropped by our house a few minutes ago and picked him up. They confirmed that he/she is indeed a scops owl and that they can grow up to about a foot high. This one is still very young and would need to be force fed in order to survive, so it’s a good thing we didn’t just set it free in our garden. The guys who picked him up said they would raise him until he is old enough to survive on his own then set him free.