LOOK: This rare vulnerable kingfisher spotted near the Metro

Published October 27, 2020, 9:32 AM

by Rom Mallick

This North Philippine Dwarf Kingfisher is a sight for sore eyes

Just a week ago, a rare bird captured the hearts of Pinoys online. A pale-colored Eurasian Tree Sparrow, or more commonly known as a maya, was photographed in a park in Las Piñas

If you found that adorable, then this photo of an even rarer bird endemic to the Philippines would definitely melt your heart. 

The North Philippine Dwarf Kingfisher spotted at the Tanay EPIC PARC Rainforest over the weekend by wildlife photographer Edwin Martinez (Courtesy of Edwin Martinez)

Just last Sunday, wildlife photographer Edwin Martinez spotted a North Philippine Dwarf Kingfisher at the EPIC PARC Rainforest in Tanay, Rizal. 

Spotting, much less photographing, a North Philippine Dwarf Kingfisher (Ceyx melanurus) can be quite difficult. They are usually difficult to observe due to their rather secretive nature. These birds are native to the country and are considered vulnerable, which is a step next to endangered, because they have been under threat from habitat loss. 

(Courtesy of Edwin Martinez)

According to recent estimates, the population size of adult North Philippine Dwarf Kingfisher is roughly around 10,000-19,999. These birds are usually found in subtropical or tropical moist rainforests. Extensive lowland deforestation, however, has put its habitat under threat. Forest cover in the Sierra Madre mountains, for example, has declined by 83 percent since the 1930s. 

Spotting and photographing one of these rare birds in an area just an hour or two away from Metro Manila gives Edwin some hope. He thinks that it could be a good indication of a boom in the population of these red birds, although that remains to be scientifically confirmed. 

(Courtesy of Edwin Martinez)

The North Philippine Dwarf Kingfisher is the fifth specie of kingfisher Edwin has ever photographed.

“It is a rare bird and one of the most sought after to be photographed by bird photographers,” he tells Manila Bulletin Lifestyle. “It is my objective to photograph all the kingfisher [species] of the Philippines.”