|By VINCE G. LOPEZ|
February 20, 2010, 6:01pm
Handsome Sunbird (Ivan Sarenas)The sun is out and days seem longer. In the heat
of summer, there is one tranquil activity that you should
try and it’s called bird-watching.
In recent years, the Philippines has grown
to be more than just an island destination. From heart-pounding
activities such as extreme sports to glamorous camping (glamping),
it seems that we will never run out of tourist attractions
and reasons to be more proud of our country.
With just a binocular and a hat, you’re
well on your way to a new adventure of re-discovery.
Bird Watching is an activity that provides
first timers with a new sense of appreciation of the beauty
of the country. We are after all home to 600 species of birds.
Included in these numbers are 200 endemic
birds meaning they could only be found here in the Philippines.
This huge number of endemic birds has been the envy of other
countries specially those where bird watching is a beloved
Slowly the numbers of bird watcher in the
country has grown with the aid of the Wild Bird Club of the
Philippines. The group has been passionate about educating,
informing and encouraging other Filipinos to enjoy the satisfying
More than Just Sitting Around
Staying still for quite some time may sound
boring. But just sitting around doesn’t mean the activity
will be devoid of excitement and thrill. The excitement comes
from seeing something fascinating in person and watching the
wild birds in their natural habitat.
It’s an activity that indulges on
human and the childhood fascination of birds. Birds, big or
small have unique identities, colors and characteristics.
It’s a way of appreciating the small things that we
never thought would be so enchanting.
Bird watching also entices the inner hunter
of the human psyche. From carefully stalking the supposed
prey, learning its ways and watching it from a hidden location,
of course without the intention of harming or capturing the
Perks of Watching the Perch
For one, bird watching is not as expensive
compared to other activities. The overall cost of binoculars,
hat and field guide is really inexpensive compared to other
sporting activities that will require having numerous basic
Bird Watching is an ideal bonding activity
for friends and family too. It’s a perfect sport for
out of town trips while having a picnic or just hanging around
and appreciating nature. It’s also a sport that’s
great for photography as it presents a lot of chance to capture
beautiful images of birds.
It is also an entirely new reason to get
excited about summer and a new option for enjoying long weekends
minus the stress.
Where to Look
So you’re all set and ready to get
a glimpse of these avian wonders. The next question is: Where
do you start? Right in your own backyard will be a good start.
Chances are you will find flying wonders near your house or
in your neighbor’s house.
Later, you can try out other places that
are very accessible such as the La Mesa Dam Ecopark, UP Diliman
and even the Las Piñas-Parañaque Critical Habitat
and Ecotourism Area in Coastal Road. This is another beauty
of the sport as you don’t have to go that far in able
to enjoy it.
Other areas outside of the metro to consider
are Mt. Makiling in Laguna, the Candaba Marshlands in Pampanga,
and Subic area in Zambales. Once you’re hooked, try
joining the bird watching clubs to learn more about the sport
and new places to view these amazing avian finds.