The Story of Ada – Siquijor Hawk Owl

This is the story of Ada, the owl from the mystical island of Siquijor. A rescued bird that made its way back to the wild with the help fo Ody Lalim and her family. The story and photos were sent by Ody Lalmi to PhilBio through messages. We decided to share their story (with their consent) to inspire others to be part of the solution in keeping wildlife wild.

It was April 20, 2021. The day after the Philippines felt the wrath of Typhoon Bising (Surigae) and the deadly combination with Amihan (northeast monsoon) and the Cold Front. Somewhere on Siquijor Island, a rotting coconut trunk fell and along with it were two fluffy, cottony white owls. They were newly hatched Luzon Hawk Owls (Ninox luzonensis).

One was making soft screechy calls. It was wet but alive. Ody quickly dried her up with paper towels in an effort to save it from dying. Unfortunately the other owlet did not survive the fall.

It was getting late. A temporary nest for the rescued owlet was found and placed close to the location of the original nest. Everyone was hopeful that the parents will search for their young and feed the owlet. That night, Ody and her husband listened for the parent’s call. They usually hear them at night but the strong wind and rain made it difficult for them to listen. As the hours pass, their worries mounted as heavy downpour continued throughout the night. They hoped the paretns found the owlet and kept it dafe.

April 21, 2021. As soon as the first hint of daylight came out, Ody quickly checked the nestbox. Much to her dismay, the owlet was wet, cold and barely alive. The parents did not find their young. Ody decided to take matters into their hands. They took the owlet inside their house and called her Ada. Ada was barely alive. Ody was worried Ada might not make it. She was relieved when Ada took some water and swallowed the worms she offered. It’s a good sign. Ada might live.

Seven days after (24 – 27 April 2021), they made a new nestbox for Ada. They kept her warm and fed her. Much to their delight, on 24th April, one of the parents flew into the house, went inside the nestbox, fed Ada and left. This went on for three nights. Finally on April 27, 2021, Ody decided to place the artificial nest box on a tree located close to the area where the original nest was located. They are now confident the Ninox parents will not abandon Ada.

Since then, the Ninox parents took turn feeding Ada. During the day, one of the parents (pointed by red arrow) perches close to the artificial nest and kept a watchful eye on Ada.

On May 2, 2021, Ada has shed some of the downy feathers and was growing bigger. The wing feathers were almost complete.

On May 13, 2021, Ada fledged the nest and dropped to the ground. Mosf ot the down feathers were now replaced and the body feathers showed the typical streaked patters of Ninox luzonensis. With encouragement from the parents, Ada managed to fly to where the parent owls were waiting.

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