News - Environment
National Broadcasting Network
Monday, 17 January 2011
Balanga city, bataan -- a total of 13,984
migratory birds of different species were counted in this
city during the one-day asian waterbird census conducted over
The census takers were led by the representatives
of the wild bird club (wbc) of the philippines and the department
of environment and natural resources (denr), with the assistance
of some foreign bird watchers and city hall employees here.
With the use of a method for counting waterbirds
prepared by the nordic agency for development and ecology
of denmark and denr, the census takers were divided into three
groups with one group each for tortugas, puerto rivas itaas
and sibacan, seaside villages in balanga city declared by
the department of tourism as birdwatching sites.
Psychiatrist dr. Joey soriano, official of
wbc, said the top three species of migratory birds found here
are whiskered tern, black winged stilt and kentish plover.
They also sighted two philippine duck hiding
among the bushes in the fishpond at barangay sibacan which,
soriano said is one of the endangered species.
Grey heron, common green shank, egret of
all sizes, black-headed gull, moorhen, kingfisher were also
among those counted in the census that lasted from 6:00 a.m.
To 11:00 a.m.
The census takers, as well as some foreign
guests, set up binoculars and camera as early as 5:00 a.m.
Whiskered terns in beautiful formation flew
high over the fishpond as the first crack of dawn appeared.
Other birds of all sizes fed on the dry fishpond.
Kingfishers stood by the bamboo posts along
the sea at the wetland park in barangay tortugas where two
viewing decks and a tourist information building are located.
Picnickers abound in the area.
Daniel miguel of denr’s protected area
and coastal area management office in region 3 said the census
is being done annually.
Ana marie gonzales, wbc vice-president, said
they have introduced in this city the importance of caring
for the birds in preservation of the environment.
“we are glad that the city government
led by mayor joet garcia is protecting the areas where the
migratory birds used to go,” she said.
Garcia has been promoting birdwatching as
one of the tourist attractions in this component city.
Thousands of migratory birds flock on dry
fishponds and the wetlands of the city from september to late
march every year.
The first international bird festival in
the philippines was first held in balanga in 2009. From then
on, the city conducted bird festivals annually.
Soriano said he would recommend birdwatching
as therapy for psychiatric patients and even non-patients.