by Christel Castro
Dr. Benjamin Vallejo’s discussion about birds and bird watching was really interesting. He talked about different species of birds and I must admit that those birds are really beautiful. Everything about them - color, size, the shape of their beaks, is worth looking at. Their differences also depend on their ways of living. For example, some birds have longer beaks because they catch fish for food. Another is that some birds are green because they use camouflage to protect themselves.
What surprised me is that those species of birds discussed can be found inside the campus of UP Diliman. I go there every single day, I often walk around the Science Complex, specifically in the Math building, and I have not noticed those wonderful birds, maybe because I am always hassled in going places. And then when we had the random walking activity, we saw some species of birds. Though it was a bit tiring, it felt great. The birds were indeed wonderful when you see them right in front of your eyes. At first, it seemed like those birds were all mayas but upon looking more closely, the color was different. We were not able to identify the kinds of birds we saw but we were really wowed by their amazing and unique features.
After the discussion, I realized that bird watching is not as easy as it seems. The people studying birds have to walk hectares every day and they have to do it in the morning because the birds are more active and can be easily seen during that time of the day. I also admire the UP administration for being able to preserve trees and for being able to provide those birds a wonderful place to live in because now, you would hardly see birds because of the huge buildings and infrastructures dominating the cities. Add to that the pollution which worsens every single day. So it is quite amusing to see those birds freely flying around UP. And as for me, and the whole class, I think walking around the roads and buildings in UP will never be the same again. Because of the knowledge we gained from the discussion, we will be more aware of the lives of other creatures, like those birds, that are present in the university. I guess that from now on, whenever I will see a bird, I will stop, look at it, and appreciate not only its beauty, but also what it can do to maintain the balance in nature.
Nature is really more amazing than it seems, and so is life. We think that we are superior over other species living in the planet, but actually, we are like them in many aspects. If we all see that fact, and if we have the value of empathy in us, we will surely be more responsible in taking care of the place we live in, not just we humans, but also every living thing in this planet, all of us.