A rare migratory bird has made its presence felt not once but twice in Iloilo City in a span of three months, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Western Visayas bared on Wednesday, April 14.
Dubbed the Glossy ibis (Plegadis falcinellus), the colorful bird reportedly made its “first recorded touchdown” in the Philippines on November 29, 2020 in the wetlands of Iloilo City.
Then, a few months later on February 2, 2021, the bird was seen again in the Hinactacan wetlands in La Paz, Iloilo City.
Rather serendipitously, the second sighting took place during a bird watching and bird counting activity on the occasion of World Wetlands Day.
But what’s so special about the Glossy ibis? DENR Western Visayas provides some details on its Facebook page. “Glossy ibis is known to breed in scattered sites in warm regions of Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and the Atlantic and Carribean regions of the Americas,” the agency said in a post.
“They are long-legged, with long bills that are sometimes mistaken as Eastern curlew and forage quite close together in open fresh marshes but are also seen in brackish and saltwater marshes, mudflats, mangrove swamps, wet agricultural fields, lake, shallow river and pond edges,” it said.
The specie was further described as “a wading bird with global range and is most widespread of all ibis species, but very rarely observed in the Philippines.”
DENR Western Visayas said the rare visit to Hinactacan wetlands “must have been due to the fact that migratory birds are always in search of best ecological conditions and habitats where they can feed, nest or breed.”