Monday, May 12, 2014

Reaction: Bird Watching

Charles Verdad

Reaction on Bird Watching talk

Who would've thought that there are at least 50 species of birds that can be found in UP Diliman? You won't find that amount of diversity elsewhere in the metro. But how did we come up with that number exactly?
Professor Vallejo has explained to us their methodology on how they came up with that number. It turns out that he and his team had dedicated a part of their everyday routine to walk around the campus randomly while taking note of the species of birds they see. They did this in a span of a year and finally arrived with that number - plus the average number of individuals per species. He explained that if you want to survey a 20 hectare land, for example, you would have to walk randomly on it for around 20 minutes every day. Talk about dedication!

He also told us about the different kinds of birds and showed us pictures of it. After that, he gave us 20 minutes to go out and count some birds. It was hard at first, not knowing where to look. But after a while, you can get used to it. I found out that it’s easier to spot the birds if you’re quiet so you’ll be able to hear their chirps. The tricky part is actually identifying the species of the bird. Since we didn’t have enough experience, we labelled them as maya, shrike, ‘big bird’, fan tail, etc. without actually being sure. It was also really hot, and Prof. Vallejo actually suggested to do this early in the morning since the birds are less active when it’s hot.

Overall, it was a fun activity, and we actually got to appreciate UP and the birds even more. Now, I always look around for birds every time I pass by that area. I believe the diversity of the birds and even other organisms in the campus should be treasured and preserved for future generations to come. One simple way of preserving would be the strict enforcement of proper waste management in the campus. Another would be to plant more trees that are possible nesting places for the birds. We could also try to increase public awareness of the birds by hosting talks such as what Professor Vallejo just did, so that people will be able to appreciate the birds more – and in turn care for them.

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