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Siargao sighting: Rare migratory birds seen for first time in PH

by Robert Hutchinson

SIARGAO STOP The discovery of hooded cranes on Siargao Island is the first documented sighting of this migratory bird species in the Philippines. The birds are usually seen in the cooler climes of Japan and Korea at this time of the year. —ROBERT HUTCHINSON / CONTRIBUTOR

The recent arrival of a flock of rare hooded cranes (Grus monacha) on Siargao Island in Surigao del Norte province has stirred excitement among bird lovers in the country, as this is the first time that this species has made landfall in the Philippines.

Greg Laude, resident bird watcher and author of the website, first spotted the group of seven cranes on Feb. 25 near Barangay Libertad in Santa Monica town in Siargao.

Laude was able to secure photographs to allow the record to be quickly confirmed, but these friendly birds, standing a meter tall, had already attracted the attention of local farmers who reported that the cranes had been sharing their fields for the past week.

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