Bird Watchers Festival Starts Today

Phil Bird Festival
Phil Bird Festival

Groups of bird watching enthusiasts and bird watcher associations can be found today at Balanga Nature and Wetland Park in Balanga City, Bataan where the 5th Philippine Bird Festival is being held.

The Philippine Bird Festival is the country’s biggest bird-watching event in terms of diversity. Expectators anticipate the arrival of wintering shorebirds from the mainland of Asia and Japan.

Bataan was decided upon to be the location because Balanga City’s Puerto Rivas wetlands attract one of the largest concentrations of migrant shorebirds and waterfowl anywhere in the Philippines. Rare Chinese Egrets, Grey Herons (talabong), Whiskered Terns (kanaway), and Sandpipers are just some of the migratory birds which visit the place.

Balanga Nature and Wetland Park is also the first protected wetland along Manila Bay. Other good bird watching sites are the Olango Island in Cebu and Candaba Marsh in Pampanga.

With “Ibong Dayo, Kaibigan Tayo!” (“The Migrant Birds: Our Friends”) as this year’s theme, festival chairperson Alice Villa-Real said that it aims to

“spread awareness about the importance of bird life in the country, promote public interest in conservation of forests and wetlands that shelter birds and encourage the creation of more public green spaces such as Balanga wetland park”

Villa-Real is also the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines (WBCP) vice president.

“The Philippines is blessed to have over 600 species of birds, of which 200 are endemic or only found in the archipelago. Sadly, 67 of these endemics are threatened by extinction due to habitat loss from land conversion”

Villa-Real adds.

Bird watching has only been a common term in the past few years. I was even surprised that my alma mater UP Diliman is now offering it as a PE course. We diddn’t have it before (obviously) 🙂 .

News Source:

Check out the 5th Philippine Bird Festival at the People’s Center, Provincial Capitol in Balanga. The schedule of activities until tomorrow can be found at the WBCP site. Click Here:

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