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Colasisis in Makiling Botanic Garden by Mads Bajarias

Location: Botanic Gardens, Mt Makiling
Date: February 2, 2003
by Mads Bajarias and LuAnn Fuentes

Last weekend lu-ann and i went back to the makiling botanic garden because she didn't see the parrots when we birded there the previous weekend (1/26/03).

We arived in the junction to the campus at around 7 and decided to take the jeepney that goes through the lower campus instead of the one going directly to forestry.

Dropped off at the main gate and proceeded to the big (acacia?) tree in front of the gate. the tree was busy with bird activity. specifically sparrows. an army of them.

There i saw the biggest, fattest yellow-vented bulbul i've ever seen. i don't know what the bulbuls eat in there but this bulbul sure loves it. the bulbul was as plump as a pigeon! it was like it was on steroids.

On the same tree we saw a bar-bellied cuckoo-shrike. i'm not sure if this species is nest-parasitic but it was looking intently at the nesting sparrows. the one we saw had black eyes and black eye-rings. the one in the Kennedy etal. illustration has lighter eyes.

We hiked to the botanic garden and went directly to the feeding tree. less than a minute later the first colasisi came out. male. 4-5 inches. it was hanging from a vine with pretty light blue flowers. the caretaker said this flower is called Blue Sky. the colasisis and sunbirds like to munch on the blossoms.

We must have spent an hour just looking at this single tree. sunbirds and red-keeled flowerpeckers were aplenty.

In about an hour we saw two colasisis in this single tree. both males. the other one was quite large about 6-7 inches. this duo might be the same parrots we saw the previous weekend.

1. Bar-bellied cuckoo-shrike. 1
2. Red-keeled flowerpecker. c.10
3. Grey-streaked flycatcher. 1. - it was in the same exact spot we saw it previous weekend
4. Philippine bulbul. 2. mid-story near path going to the raptor center
5. Yellow-vented bulbul. just 1 BUT VERY LARGE! :-)
6. Colasisi. 2. males. very beautiful!
7. Scale-feathered malkoha. 1 - we were on the bridge when i heard it but couldn't see it fast enough. lu-ann saw it flit in the understory near the path going to raptor center
8. Red-crested malkoha. 1. opposite side of maralas
9. Olive-backed sunbird. c.10
10. Purple-throated sunbird. c.5
11. Plain-throated sunbird. c.5
12. Brown shrike
13. Barn swallow
14. Pacific swallow

PS. For those who want to see the colasisis in the botanic garden: go inside the gate, past the rotunda. walk on until you reach the first concrete bench on the right side. there's also a concrete receptacle for garbage. look for the tree on your right whose branches are covered with epiphytes. the epiphyte's bloom is called Blue Sky (according to a caretaker of the property). i don't know how long this is in bloom, though. good luck.