Maintenance personnel of the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) recovered a weakened grass owl along one of the two perpendicular runways at NAIA on Wednesday.
MIAA general manager Ed Monreal said the grass owl was recovered by airport grass-cutting personnel during its regular operation in runways 06-24 and 13-31.
The removal of the owl avoided a worst-case scenario — a potential bird strike.
Bird strikes, defined as a collision between an airborne animal or animals with a man-made vehicle, are widely considered to pose a huge risk to any form of aircraft, especially if the said animal, usually a bird, is sucked into the engine.
In 2009, a departing aircraft was forced to land on the Hudson River after taking off at New York's LaGuardia Airport after migratory birds were sucked into the engine.
Monreal added they have notified the Department of Environment and Natural Resources of the incident.