“You have to believe in happiness, or happiness never comes … Ah, that’s the reason a bird can sing — On his darkest day he believes in spring.” – Douglas Malloch
Bird sanctuary in Zamboanga City © Jojie Alcantara 2014
A Great Egret (Ardea alba, also known as common egret, large egret or great white heron) is silhouetted against the sunset glow of the sky in the fish pond of Zamboanga State College of Marine Science and Technology (ZSCMST). Once considered as “migratory”, these slender white waders were discovered to be breeding in these areas, one of the protected sanctuaries in Zamboanga City.
Great Egrets nest in colonies, called ‘rookeries,’ in trees surrounding lakes and ponds. Primarily active during the day, they return to roost at sunset, while flying with their feet extended and necks pulled in. During breeding season, they are stunning to behold with their white plumes and tinge of facial colors. An increasing number of bird species is said to be monitored in these ponds, with the protection effort of the management.
The 9th Philippine Bird Festival (Feb-March 2014), is organized by the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines together with the Zamboanga City LGU, Department of Environment and Natural Resources Region 9, and the Department of Tourism -Regional Office 9.
This event not only promotes birdwatching and record significant bird sightings for the country, but aims to promote Zamboanga City as an emerging and must-visit birding destination in the Philippines. Hopefully, it will help rehabilitate the city’s image back to its potential tourism state after the unfortunate rebel attacks last year.
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