An adult Tabon (Megapodius cumingii pusillus) in danjugan island. Photo by Godfrey Jakosalem.
How many kinds are there?
There are currently seven recognized subspecies of Tabon distributed through North Borneo, Sulawesi and the Philippines (Bashariet al 2017; Kennedy et al. 2000; Jones et al. 1995). There are two subspecies found in the Philippines: Megapodius cumingii cumingii on Palawan Group of Islands and Megapodius cumingii pusillus for the rest of the country.
We identified at least three predators of eggs and chicks: Barred Rail Gallirallus torquatos, Pacific Reef Egret Egretta sacra and the Northern Boobok Ninox japonica. There was one occasion when we observe five Barred Rails working in groups to prey on an exposed Tabon egg. Two rails were keeping the Tabon busy while three other individuals work on the sides to further expose the egg. As soon as the egg was exposed, the Barred Rails feasted on it. On another occasion, a Pacific Reef Egret fed on an exposed Tabon egg and a Northern Boobok was photographed feeding on a Tabon chick during daytime.
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