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13,984 Migratory Birds Counted For One Day In Balanga City

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 weekend.

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.