HARIBON Foundation, in partnership with BirdLife International, kicked off its annual OctoBird Fest 2015 on October 24 at the Rizal Park in Manila. This is a start of a four-part series of awareness raising campaign to educate the public about the significance of migratory birds in the country, as well as instill appreciation and protection of their habitats.
Haribon’s Ambassador for Conservation and GMA artist Enzo Pineda flew kites with the audience, much to the delight of everyone who attended the festivities. There were booth activities, arts and crafts, kite workshops, games, raffle and musical performances by rising star, Cucay Pagdilao and the legendary visual artist and multi-talented guitarist of the Wuds, Bobby Balingit. It’s a wholesome family event and everyone enjoyed the festivities.
OctoBird Fest 2015 highlighted the perilous plight and importance of thousands of migratory birds all the way from Russia, China, Mongolia and South Korea that visit our country generally from September until March each year. They do this to find grounds to rest and feed while temporarily evading their host countries’ harsh winter months.
Interesting fact about the migrating birds is how they utilize stars, the sun, wind patterns, landforms, and even the earth’s magnetic field to help them in navigating to the same locations each year.
Most commonly seen migratory birds in the Philippines are Little Egrets, Tufted Ducks, Brown Shrike, Common Sandpiper, Common Kingfisher and Whiskered Tern. Thousands of these species land in our wetlands, swamps, lakes, forests, marshes, ponds, rivers, rice fields, and even in the cities, particularly LPPCHEA, Parañaque City, one of their more popular destinations in Metro Manila.
But unfortunately, migratory birds and their habitats also face a lot of threats. Populations of migratory birds are declining every year due to the threats they face during their migration. A major threat is destruction or degradation of their habitats such as forests, mangroves, and wetlands. Habitat destruction also translates to decreased ability of these ecosystems to support life, reduce food and water supply, lose our natural flood control, and protection against extreme weather and disasters among many others. The more migratory birds we see informs us that the country’s ecosystems are still healthy.
The said celebration also emphasized the need to protect and save these habitats by doing positive actions for the environment such as tree planting, proper waste management, and recycling. More importantly, just leaving these habitats as is and not disturbing them are the best ways to protect migratory bird species.
Other upcoming WTTB events include: Teaching tours from October 2015 to March 2016, Wader Quest on November 7, Birdwatching Tours on October to March 2016, and Bird Race on March 2016.
Help raise awareness about the state and importance of migratory birds and their habitats, and welcome them together with your family and friends. To get to know more about Welcome to the Birds 2015, visit bit.ly/wtodabirds! For inquiries, call: 421-1209 or 921.12.09 and/or email: email@example.com