Barred Eagle Owl

Barred Eagle Owl

Yesterday, our staff found this dying Barred Eagle Owl on the ground near the front compound.

“The barred eagle-owl (Bubo sumatranus), also called the Malay eagle-owl, is a species of owl in the family Strigidae. It is a member of the large genus Bubo which is distributed on most of the world’s continents. This relatively little-known species is found from the southern Malay Peninsula down a string of several of the larger southeast Asian islands to as far as Borneo.” – wikipedia

It looked like it ate a poisonous or poisoned animal and subsequently poisoned itself. We at Rimbun Dahan are against poisoning rodents (we choose to catch and humanely kill them) to avoid affecting their natural predators like the owl or other animals in the vicinity. It is also possible that this one accidentally ate a poisonous animal or snake.

We do have several Barred Eagle Owl nests in Rimbun Dahan but they seldom hatch more than a couple of chicks at one time and they can be quite frail and vulnerable creatures growing up.

“This species probably pairs for life. Barred eagle-owls seems to be very attached to a particular nesting site. If not disturbed, they will occupy the same territory for several years and, if one partner dies, the surviving mate will maintain the same territory with another owl parent. This species nests either in large tree cavities or, in Java and Sumatra, on top of the large fern Asplenium nidus.” – wikipedia

This beautiful female was buried yesterday after it died but we hope nothing tragic happens to its family.

Kemian Hitam

Kemian Hitam

Our staff found some lumps of kemian hitam, a type of aromatic resin that came from the rotting wood of Canarium littorale or kedondong bulan which had been struck by lightning a while ago. Half of the tree was killed and rotting on the ground.

 

Kemian Hitam from the rotting wood of a C. littorale

 

The resin has a very nice fragrance when burned. According to the Internet it is also associated with occult practices: it may be used to summon “makhluk halus alam bawahan, Jin Tanah, Jin Pokok, Jin Batu dan yang sebangsa dengannya.” A comment on our facebook post claims that kemian hitam is used in smoking and cleaning woven textile such as songket, limar and kelingkam by suspending the cloth on a rack of netting and smoking kemian beneath it. This method is thought to kill bugs that may feed on the textile as well as get rid of mold.

Shorea materialis

Shorea materialis

In April, we had a massive flowering of Shorea materialis, commonly called “balau pasir“, on one of several huge trees planted in the early 90s. Now we have a crop of tens of thousands of seedlings carpeting the ground.

Norsham Yaakob has already taken over a thousand to grow on at FRIM.

Snake Tales

Snake Tales

Rimbun Dahan can be paradise for snakes… or the last thing a snake ever sees. This month, one lucky python was hauled out of the hen house and taken away to a new home, but things didn’t turn out so well for a cobra which strayed near the main house.

Monocled Cobra Killed by Dogs

Monocled Cobra Killed by Dogs

The Rimbun Dahan dogs cornered this small specimen in a drain and dispatched it, but not before it reared, displaying the diagnostic cobra’s hood. The single circular marking on the back of the head identifies it as the Monocled Cobra, Naja naja kaouthia, a venomous snake which is fairly common, occuring in a range of habitats, including those impacted by humans, and usually feeding on rodents.