by Fevie Ann B. Ramos
Benjamin Vallejo, chairman of STS department, had a talk about bird watching in UP Diliman last May 6, 2014. He taught us the importance of birds in our environment and how the number and species of birds are related to an ecosystem. The greater the number of birds and the more varied species present, the richer the community. Bird watching is the method they are using in studying birds in UP Diliman because they are not allowed to catch the birds. In this way, they are able to create statistical data about the birds in the campus.
In order for us to experience bird watching, he gave us 20 minutes to do random walking around the National Science Complex and list down the number and species of birds we see. The activity was fun because we were able to see plenty of birds which I usually do not notice even if I always walk around the National Science Complex to move from one classroom to another.
I had a difficult time in classifying the birds because out of the different species of birds that we saw, the only one I know is the Maya bird which I usually see in our neighborhood. When we returned to the CS Auditorium, I finally found out the names of the other birds. We observed about 10 Mayas, 12 Long-tailed shrikes, and 1 yellow bird which I assume as Oriole or Narcissus Flycatcher.
He told us that bird watching is usually done in early mornings or before sunset where birds are more active. While observing birds, it is also important to keep the noise down to avoid scaring the birds away. It can also be done using the naked eye or with the help of other instruments like binoculars or telescope.
This experience made me appreciate how beautiful the National Science Complex is and the UP Diliman Campus as a whole. I know I’m bias because I belong to the College of Science but National Science Complex is my favorite place in the campus especially the view we can get just by standing at the center of the CS amphitheater. Every time I change classes and have to walk from one building to another, especially from Institute of Chemistry to Math building, I always imagine that I am in a park. After bird watching, I wish that UP will remain as beautiful as it is today in the future despite the construction of more and more buildings around the campus.