First sightings of 5 migratory birds recorded in Batanes

Published July 31, 2020, 12:34 PM

by Jhon Dave Ablat

BATANES – A flyway of migratory birds has recorded first sightings of five bird species from August 2019 to January 2020 in Batanes, making it the first observation of such species in the Philippines.

According to Charls Lee Ibanes, an Ivatan member of the Robert S. Kennedy Bird Conservancy and the primary observant of the sighting, five migratory birds from the countries north of the Philippines landed in Batanes as part of their nature of moving south during northern winter, and moving north during southern summer.

In the given data, the observant witnessed a common myna (acridotheres tritis), black-faced bunting (emberiza spodecephala), buff-bellied pipit (anthus rubescens), light vented bulbul (pycnonotus sinensis), and Verditer flycatcher (eumymias thalassinus), mostly in Basco and in the island of Itbayat.

Moreover, Ibanes tagged these sightings as very rare observations as these bird species were not usual in the Philippine environment and biodiversity.
“It was important and fulfilling to contribute in recording these very rare sightings,” Ibanes said.

“My findings only add to the already recognized rich biodiversity that the province of Batanes have,” he added.

Ibanes also cited that this event might improve the birding tourism since most of the visitors who come to the place for bird watching were conservationists.The sightings have been verified by the Philippine Bird Rarities Committee and was already recognized by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).