Friday, May 9, 2014

APLASCA - Bird Watching

APLASCA, Ana Patricia A.
A Reaction Paper on: Bird Watching
            Dr. Benjamin Vallejo, an associate professor of IESM in the University of the Philippines gave us a lecture on bird watching, or birding for short. I learned a lot from him, especially that at first, I thought this kind of activity is really boring. I never knew that the Diliman campus is one of the places here in Metro Manila where you can see a lot of birds. I never knew that you can see at least fifty-six species of those animals here, and thinking about that number, that is already quite big.
            Although I am not fond of birds, it was still interesting to hear Dr. Vallejo talk. The pictures of those creatures that he showed, just tells us how rich our environment is despite being in the middle an urban area. The lushness of the area can really be considered as a treasure, and the great number of birds that we have in here just proves that these animals really measure the diversity of a community.
            Aside from the facts about birds that he shared, he also talked about bird watching itself. I realized that it is not easy to do, for you have to have a good knowledge of birds and you also have to be physically fit. I thought that in this activity, you would just stand in the middle of somewhere and just watch and identify all the birds that you see that is why I assumed that it was tedious to do. But when he explained birding to us, it is quite fascinating. I realized that for people like him who studies birds, it is a hard job. Imagine roaming around a twenty five hectare place in a limited amount of time while having to identify and count the birds that you see, for one year every day. Who will not get tired of that?
            What I enjoyed the most in the lecture is that Dr. Vallejo also let us experience bird watching.  For a first timer and for someone who does not know a lot about birds, we really had a hard time. We were just able to identify those familiar birds like the Maya, which is really common anywhere you go. That’s why we just described how they look like in order to distinguish them birds that we saw from one another. In bird watching, you have to be alert and observant so that you would not miss any bird. You also have to be patient because obviously those birds will not go out in the air all at the same time.

            Being able to attend this lecture and go birding was really a worthwhile experience. You will really feel that you are at one with nature. Although it was a little bit tiring because all of the walking that we have done, you will realize that in the end, what’s important is that you have enjoyed the beauty of these animals that only a few can see.

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