ZAMBOANGA CITY, March 12 (PIA) --- Birders, or bird-watchers from all over the world are interested to visit Zamboanga because of the presence of a great variety of species here, said an international birding expert during a bird-watching trip at the Zamboanga City State College of Marine Science and Technology (ZCSCMST) fishpond in Rio Hondo.
Mark Wallbank, a birder from the United Kingdom said that there are approximately 185 different species that are either migrants or residents, and this is a good reason why many birders want to personally visit the area.
Wallbank is one of about a hundred local and international birders who were in the city from February 27 to March 1 for the 9th Philippine Bird Festival made possible by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Department of Tourism (DOT).
“One reason why the birds migrate here is because the environment is so wonderful,” explained Wallbank to high school students who participated in the bird-watching trip.
“The birds like Zamboanga so much,” quipped Wallbank.
One specie known as the great and little egrets, which are considerably large white birds have nested in good numbers in the area.
“These birds are originally from China and have come here to mate, mainly because they like the weather and environment. The eggs will eventually hatch here,” Wallbank said.
In one hour, the bird enthusiasts were delighted to spot and identify 20 different species.
The Philippines has about 670 different species of birds. Zamboanga’s species make up about 28% of the total.
Activities for the bird festival included a parade on February 27 leading to Paseo del Mar, and various bird-watching trips at the Intake Watershed, Bog Lake and Mount Baluno until March 1. (ALT/DIS/PIA9-ZBST)