Sunday, August 19, 2012

Who's that owl? Oh, it's TWO owls!

New bird finds are rare, just a few a year, but now we have four announced in the last month.  The most recent two are from the Philippines. US ornithologist Pamela Rasmussen, who is one of the really prominent figures in new bird discovery (and rediscovery) said, "More than 15 years ago, we realized that new subspecies of Ninox hawk-owls existed in the Philippines. But it wasn't until last year that we obtained enough recordings that we could confirm that they were not just subspecies, but two new species of owls." She explains that the songs are not learned but are unique to species.  Welcome to the Camiguin Hawk-owl (noted for singing "a long solo song" at night) and the Cebu Hawk-owl!

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