On March 2019, two birds found dead inside the Makiling Botanic Gardens (MBG). The Besra hawk and Scops owl. The Accipiter virgatus (Besra) is a species of bird which belongs to the family Accipitridae. It is a widespread resident breeder in thick forests all over southern Asia. It nests in trees, building a new nest each year. It lays 2 to 5 eggs.
The Philippine scops owl (Otus megalotis) is a common owl, endemic to the Philippines, which belongs to the family of the typical owls Strigidae. It is one of sixteen owl species found in the Philippines. The Philippine Scops Owls live alone or in monogamous pairs. They nest in tree holes of forests of the Philippine lowlands, and can also be found in the pine forests of Luzon. Philippine Scops Owls prey at night on insects and small mammals.
Mr. Marvin Jay R. Sarmiento, a wildlife biologist performed the taxidermy of the scops owl and the besra hawk. The two aves will join the animals featured in the Rainforest Biodiversity Diorama in the MBG lobby. The diorama shows the typical forest fauna and flora inside the Mount Makiling Forest Reserve ASEAN Heritage Park (MMFR AHP).
Angela A. Limpiada
Photos credit to: Marvin Jay Sarmiento and John Carlo P. Ortega