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Birdwatching in the Philippines

Updated on April 22, 2013

A Special Treat to All the Nature Lovers Out There...

Philippines is a perfect place to be! With 7,107 islands, there is such a variety to choose and there are other attractions too.

Picture yourself traveling along to the north side of the country where the pine-clad mountains and cool, clear air resides and when you turn in the south there are steaming jungles and virgin forests waiting for you to discover. Many visitors chooses to travel hundred miles of over difficult mountains roads just to watch 612 bird species only found within the archipelago. Add to those 8 species mainly found within the islands and one can see the attraction for birding there. Hence, many visiting birders are told -visit now before it is too late...

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World's Best: Animal Babies
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Where do you go to experience the very best that the world has to offer? Where do you find it's most impressive wildlife, its greatest cultures and civilizations? Whether you want to savor the thrill from the comfort of your home or take a trip to sample it for yourself, World's Best will tell you about the best and most exciting features of our planet and how and where to find them. World's Best is perfect for today's environmentally aware audience of thrill seekers.

 
Asian Odyssey, 1966
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The film includes footage of the President's meeting with other heads of state at the Manila Conference and footage of President Johnson being received by heads of state in the countries he visited, including the prime ministers of New Zealand and Australia, President Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines, the King and Queen of Thailand, and the President of South Korea. The film includes substantial footage shot aboard Air Force One.

 

Great Books About the Birds in the Philippines

A Guide to the Birds of the Philippines
A Guide to the Birds of the Philippines

A Guide to the Birds of the Philippines is the first and only guide that covers all 572 species of birds known to occur within the 7,100 islands that make up the Philippines. The Philippine avifauna includes some 170 endemics - species that are not found anywhere else in the world - and is thus of interest to avid birders around the world. Many of these species are also endangered, due to the high levels of habitat destruction in the Philippine forest, and this book is also urgently needed by conservation workers in the region. The Guide is illustrated by 72 specially painted colour plates that show all but the three vagrant species recently recorded there. Its text gives detailed information about the plumage, voice, range, distribution, status, habitat, life history and behaviour of the birds and is accompanied by distribution maps for all the species described. The expert team of authors and artists includes two prominent Philippine ornithologists, and has combined field experience summing to over 100 years. This book clearly will be the standard for Philippine Ornithology for many years to come.

 
A Photographic Guide to the Birds of Southeast Asia: Including the Philippines and Borneo (Princeton Field Guides)
A Photographic Guide to the Birds of Southeast Asia: Including the Philippines and Borneo (Princeton Field Guides)

This is the very first comprehensive photographic guide to the birds of mainland Southeast Asia, the Philippines, and Borneo, including the birds of Peninsular Malaysia, Thailand, Indochina, South China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.

Covering 668 species, the volume contains a distribution map for each species in addition to more than 700 brilliant color photographs, many appearing here for the first time. The photographs are complemented by a concise text providing all the information needed to accurately identify species in one of the world's richest avifauna regions.

Given the notorious difficulty of photographing rainforest birds, this book represents a major achievement. It is an ideal volume for travelers to the region as well as for all bird lovers.

 
A First Look At Philippine Birds - Philippine Book
A First Look At Philippine Birds - Philippine Book

Acclaimed by The Philippine Star as extremely handsome books that prove beyond doubt that biology need not be dreary school fare, This series aims to sharpen young childs skill of observation. Only two goals governed the making of these books: to help children understand basic classification in biology and zoology, and to open their eyes to the glorious diversity of the world around them.

 

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Basic Facts on Birding in the Philippines

The bird-watcher's life is an endless succession of surprises. W.H.Hudson -The Book of a Naturalist

The list of non-endemics reaches around 300 species although this has been increasing each year as more people regularly bird-watch and more foreign tours visit the islands. It is important that trip reports be relayed to the recording body so that valuable data may be gathered to add to what is currently a largely word-of-mouth list of sightings and numbers.

There are three generally recognized geographical regions - Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao, although for birdwatchers the area of Palawan is a 4th region that must be treated separately.

Luzon

The largest island with a limited number of associated islands off the north and east coasts, Luzon contain all the major habitats from mossy forest to marshlands. Due to logging there is extremely limited lowland forest left but within most mountainous areas small remnants of forest can be found. The island is relatively easy and safe to move around and with fairly good transportation links. There are a few birdwatching sites within or close to Metro Manila but most endemics are found scattered a day or two`s travel away.

The Visayas

The belt of the Philippine archipelago, the Visayas consist of the majority of the islands. In ornithological terms there are two or three major areas - the Negros/Panay complex in the west, Cebu in the centre and the Bohol/Samar/Leyte group to the east, which have many shared species with Mindanao to the south. Environmental degradation in this region is extreme - especially in the east where several species are located in very small forest patches and some species may even be already extinct or in non-sustainable situations. Travel is again not difficult and the area is generally peaceful and easy to access. With most of the islands being small, travel time to sites is normally a day although there are no formal organised transportation links and most visitors use local guides.

Mindanao

A large island close to Borneo, Mindanao is also all to often seen in the news or travel advisory lists as a place to avoid. Instability does occur but in general it is within certain areas and other regions are peaceful and the people receptive. With a host of endemics, and being the last holdout for the Philippine Eagle, one can see why most people still want to visit but areas are restricted and travel mainly must be done with prior organization or with extra days on hand to move about.

Palawan

Some of the easiest birding in the country and set in a truly tropical setting, Palawan is a favourite for anyone. With its own set of birds quite distinct to the rest of the country and a good set of migrants it makes a pleasant change from the hard work of the heavily trapped and bird-poor forests of the rest of the Philippines.

Other wildlife

As with other tropical countries the forests abound with insects and reptiles making a pleasant diversion while waiting to see a bird. Orchids are also abundant and as with the birds, endemism is also common across all the biological wildlife.

Weather & other considerations

Although Mindanao has a more equatorial climate to the northern areas in general the islands are governed by a dual season climate - wet (June-October) and dry (December - April). Temperatures are normally between 25-35 although the mountains can be cold at night in the early part of the year. Malaria remains in a very few areas but is not a major problem and other diseases are not significant. Most normal facilities (food, health care, airports etc.) are available within a day`s trek of any of the birding sites.

Birding around Manila

Within the city are two main sites that are easily accessible to a visitor; the American Memorial cemetery and the Libingan ng mga Bayani (or National Heroes cemetery). Both have a small selection of birds and are a good place to see passage migrants. Just to the south of Manila and about a 2 hour drive lies Mount Makiling which holds a good number of wet lowland forest endemics and is worth a visit at any time of year. Rather basic accommodation is available locally for those wanting an early start although many people do the site on a day-trip basis. Also 2 hours to the south lies a forested area known as Pico do Loro although a reference to Caylabne Bay or Puerto Azul (beach resorts) would be more likely to get you there. A dry lowland forest it has many shared species with Makiling and also a few others, which are not.

Source

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Birdwatching in the Philippines by Naiza Oclares is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at www.squidoo.com.

Reader's Feedback on Bird-Watching in the Philippines

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    • jordanmilesbask profile image

      jordanmilesbask 5 years ago

      I will keep this in mind...Love your lens..Well Done!

    • JeanJohnson LM profile image

      JeanJohnson LM 6 years ago

      Nice bird photos, I imagine there's a lot of beautiful things to see in the Phillipines!

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      anonymous 6 years ago

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      monurohila 6 years ago

      @anonymous: you are right, this is nice post,Philippines is a perfect place to be! With 7,107 islands, there is such a variety to choose and there are other attractions too.

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      monurohila 6 years ago

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      awesome my children love to see birds we go every weekend to watch birds. we are planning to buy property in Dominican Republic Real Estate"

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      from childhood i have special love for birds i try to be in touch with them i love to see them. Please tell me more about this so i can come from < a href="http://www.altijdzon.nl/"> Dominican republic real estate

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      I love to see this so please tell me brief about this so that i can go and get a chance to see this,

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      I love to see this so please tell me brief about this so that i can go and get a chance to see this. To buy Ardyss Body Shaper

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      jmddheeraj 6 years ago

      612 bird species ? really its unbelievable..i book Flights to Manila for this month of march to see this..thanks for this info

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      anonymous 7 years ago

      I am a nature lover and I really thank you for all these beautiful bird images, I have some great picture on my computer as well, I actually sold some to a magazine and I bought some Sildenafil Citrate with the money I received!

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      PalawanHotels 7 years ago

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      QuantumTiger 8 years ago

      A fascinating insight into the birds of the Phillipines. Thankyou.

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      anonymous 8 years ago

      Hi, Naiza.

      Thank you for sharing all the beautiful bird images and the information about the birds of the Philipines. This was a lovely look into the beauty of a place I know so little about.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      i found the eagle bird . How and where did i bring this ?

    • profile image

      shynab56 9 years ago

      Someday, If all my worries and hectic schedule in school will slightly be lighter, I dream to visit this bird Philippines. I have this sad experience when my cat catches bird in my garden at home. I really tried hard to save the bird but the more effort I initiated keep the cat strong in making the bird as his yummiest breakfast that day. When I notice that another bird of its kind keep on humming, I realize that my cat has hurt the feeling of the other birds. That other birds might be tracing the the where abouts of the victim. I can not blame my cat for what was on his mind is to have a delectable meal that time. I hope, man will not practice the habit of a cat...in which securing for a delicious meal can affect others feeling. There could be so may unhappy families if they did.

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      shynab56 9 years ago

      I have a related article I submitted to go articles about a birds sanctuary. However, birds sanctuary becomes meager when man and other animals, like cats both disorganize the stability of the same. I like this page.

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      bestacnereview 9 years ago

      Great high quality lens. Check out my acne lens also. 5 Stars.

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      anonymous 9 years ago

      Great lens! 5 starts for you and bookmarked!

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      anonymous 9 years ago

      I left my footprints here. Nice lens. 5 stars of course.

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      totalhealth 9 years ago

      lovely bird lens, also lovely birds.

    • profile image

      totalhealth 9 years ago

      lovely bird lens, also lovely birds.

    • profile image

      beachbum_gabby 9 years ago

      I love birdwatching. Naiza, what place would you suggest for the best birdwatching spot in the PH?

      great lens, 5*

    • Kiwisoutback profile image

      Kiwisoutback 9 years ago from Massachusetts

      Wow! Some unique birds here! Definitely much different from US birds. The Flickr album looks great. Be sure to join our Wild Birds Group here on Squidoo!

    • mariaamoroso profile image

      irenemaria 9 years ago from Sweden

      Such a lovely lens with much information. Thank you!

      The cranes are coming in Sweden this month!!

    • evelynsaenz1 profile image

      Evelyn Saenz 9 years ago from Royalton

      The Purple Gallinules just flew over for a visit. What a nice slide show, Naiza.

    • profile image

      thomasz 9 years ago

      nice lens. Great info. The birds look quite interesting.

    • SPF profile image

      SPF 9 years ago

      Love your lens. Thanks for visiting my lens and leaving a blurb. I would love to watch and photograph the birds in the Philippines! Wow. Great job.

    • Music-Resource profile image

      Music-Resource 9 years ago

      Hi Naiza, Beautiful bird lens. I enjoyed the slide show and the pics. I do my own bird watching in the USA. I like to watch the swallows play in the wind. ~Music Resource~

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 9 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Pretty, pretty lens. Love the slideshow. Nice job!

    • profile image

      groupie 9 years ago

      Great job, Naiza. Beautiful slide show. I've sent you an invite to my Nature

    • profile image

      World-Birder 9 years ago

      Just watched the slide show of the birds in the Philippines - awesome pictures! Super lens - 5*. I have lensrolled this lens too. Great work.

    • GramaBarb profile image

      GramaBarb 9 years ago from Vancouver

      I really love your birdwatching lens!! I wish I could visit the Philippines to go birdwatching! 5* and lensrolled it to my bird lenses too.

    • profile image

      catch-cheating 9 years ago

      great lens, very beautiful pictures,high five