The official website of the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines
The official website of the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines

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The Pleasures of Bird Watching

February 20, 2010, 6:01pm
Manila Bulletin

Handsome Sunbird (Ivan Sarenas)
The sun is out and days seem longer. In the heat of summer, there is one tranquil activity that you should try and it’s called bird-watching.

In recent years, the Philippines has grown to be more than just an island destination. From heart-pounding activities such as extreme sports to glamorous camping (glamping), it seems that we will never run out of tourist attractions and reasons to be more proud of our country.

With just a binocular and a hat, you’re well on your way to a new adventure of re-discovery.

Bird Watching is an activity that provides first timers with a new sense of appreciation of the beauty of the country. We are after all home to 600 species of birds.

Included in these numbers are 200 endemic birds meaning they could only be found here in the Philippines. This huge number of endemic birds has been the envy of other countries specially those where bird watching is a beloved activity.

Slowly the numbers of bird watcher in the country has grown with the aid of the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines. The group has been passionate about educating, informing and encouraging other Filipinos to enjoy the satisfying activity.

More than Just Sitting Around

Staying still for quite some time may sound boring. But just sitting around doesn’t mean the activity will be devoid of excitement and thrill. The excitement comes from seeing something fascinating in person and watching the wild birds in their natural habitat.

It’s an activity that indulges on human and the childhood fascination of birds. Birds, big or small have unique identities, colors and characteristics. It’s a way of appreciating the small things that we never thought would be so enchanting.

Bird watching also entices the inner hunter of the human psyche. From carefully stalking the supposed prey, learning its ways and watching it from a hidden location, of course without the intention of harming or capturing the avian wonder.

Perks of Watching the Perch

For one, bird watching is not as expensive compared to other activities. The overall cost of binoculars, hat and field guide is really inexpensive compared to other sporting activities that will require having numerous basic gears.

Bird Watching is an ideal bonding activity for friends and family too. It’s a perfect sport for out of town trips while having a picnic or just hanging around and appreciating nature. It’s also a sport that’s great for photography as it presents a lot of chance to capture beautiful images of birds.

It is also an entirely new reason to get excited about summer and a new option for enjoying long weekends minus the stress.

Where to Look

So you’re all set and ready to get a glimpse of these avian wonders. The next question is: Where do you start? Right in your own backyard will be a good start. Chances are you will find flying wonders near your house or in your neighbor’s house.

Later, you can try out other places that are very accessible such as the La Mesa Dam Ecopark, UP Diliman and even the Las Piñas-Parañaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area in Coastal Road. This is another beauty of the sport as you don’t have to go that far in able to enjoy it.

Other areas outside of the metro to consider are Mt. Makiling in Laguna, the Candaba Marshlands in Pampanga, and Subic area in Zambales. Once you’re hooked, try joining the bird watching clubs to learn more about the sport and new places to view these amazing avian finds.