Avian Migrants found haven in Davao Region
Hundreds to thousands of migratory waterbirds were logged during the conduct of Asian Waterbird Census (AWC), a program that aims to monitor and record bird sightings across the globe. It was conducted by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-XI) in the early weeks of January 2020, in Davao Region’s six (6) monitoring sites – Malalag mudflats in Davao del Sur, Bucana in Davao City, Banay-banay in Davao Oriental and in Panabo, Carmen and Tagum in Davao del Norte.
AWC is an annual event which takes place during the second and third weeks of January.
In Malalag, about a thousand of Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) were sighted, along with hundreds of Pied Stilts (Himantopus leucocephalus) and Whiskered Terns (Chlidonias hybrida). A small number of Great Knot (Calidris tenuirostris), an endangered species was also sighted.
Moreso in Carmen Coastal Wetland, a few of nearly threatened species such as Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa) and Eurasian Curlew (Numenius arquata) were also seen. With them are some Whiskered Terns also flocking in the area. The latter species were also spotted in its neighboring Coastland Wetland in Panabo along with hundreds of Little Egret and Pied Stilts.
Meanwhile in Banay-bay, White-browed Crake (Porzana cinerea) and Wandering Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna javanica) were recorded, just a few compared to the thousands of Pied Stilts that landed in the area. In the same area, a few Philippine Ducks (Anas luzonica), the sole endemic species were also spotted flying overhead. Philippine Ducks is one of our very own families of birds which are unfortunately listed as vulnerable because of its small population.
As Philippines is one of the avian migrants’ flyways or routes in East Asia/Australasia, these avian migrants fly from their origin all the way to the lands of Davao Region to find a better habitat that will suit their need for breeding, feeding and raising their young. They are flying from vast distances including China, Japan, Siberia and other areas around the world that has winter season. These migrant birds travel beyond their country’s borders in search for warmer and safer refuge where they can also find sufficient food resources.
As a warm welcome to these visitors, may we all refrain from touching or harming them. Just let them fly freely.