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DENR releases Brahminy Kites

Punto ! Central Luzon
By Ernie B. Esconde

BALANGA CITY - The Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Region 3 office, in cooperation with the city government of Balanga on Saturday released in a mountain village here six mature Brahminy Kites from the raptor species of birds locally known as “lawin”, as its regional director called on every one to further care for the environment.

Ricardo Calderon, DENR 3 regional executive director, urged all other regional offices to follow the example of Balanga City in releasing to the wilds eagles and other birds in captivity or under rehabilitation.

He said that such undertaking is very meaningful to create social awareness or awareness of the people in conserving the environment and “an indicator na kailangang-kailangang pagandahin pa natin ang kalikasan.”

Calderon said that if the environment is properly protected, flash floods and landslides bringing destruction to lives and property in the country should have been lessened if not avoided. Provincial environment and natural resources officer Lawyer Ricardo Lazarro said caring for the birds is showing love for the environment.

Balanga City Mayor Jose Enrique Garcia III, barangay officials, DENR officials and delegates from the Wild Birds Club of the Philippines, Wild Bird Society of Taipei, Kaohsiung Wild Bird Society, Chinese Wild Bird Society, Malaysian Nature Society, Nature Society of Singapore, Hongkong Birdwatching Society and Bird Conservation Society of Thailand witnessed the occasion.

The release of the birds was part of the concluding two-day 5th Philippine Bird Festival held in Balanga which Tourism Sec. Ace Durano described as the biggest celebration on birdwatching so far in the country.

After traveling three kilometers of well-paved road by car, they hiked about a kilometer of the unfinished dirt road to the beautiful Stella Maris Retreat Center run by Sisters of Notre Dame in Upper Tuyo, Balanga City.

Medics of Balanga City with their ambulance were on standby to attend to hikers.

Nuns enjoyed watching the birds freed from the cage and one or two “lawin” staying on branches of tall trees.

“Majestic, just beautiful, we appreciate having the birds in our property and we hope to see them flying through the skies many times,” novice director Sister Marizza said.

Later in the day, the group went birdwatching at a dry fishpond adjacent to a sprawling subdivision in barangay Tuyo. There white migratory birds belonging to small, medium and large egrets were busy feeding and sometimes flying over the fishpond.