Sunday, May 11, 2014

Cheng, Steven Matthew - Reaction Paper: Birding

Cheng, Steven Matthew 2010-11134

Reaction Paper: Birding 

At first thought, one might think that bird watching (birding) is just a hobby for people. However, as it was discussed in the class, birding actually is a scientific activity. There is a scientific study on what is the proper way and steps in birding. Random walk is also introduced as a way of traversing the selected field. It is simply a random walk without a goal as to where you are supposed to end or arrive at. Birding is actually a very rigorous exercise because one must fast random walk a 20 hectare area in only 20 to 30 minutes. Doing this only once will also not suffice; alternatively, it must be done for at least a year to be able to have a more accurate data and analysis. There were many kinds of birds within the University that was introduced. The blue rock thrush, Philippine scops owl, long tailed shrike, Philippine serpent eagle, and brown shrike were some species of birds that were shown and discussed with us. We had an activity to experience this exercise. During the process, we were able to notice quite a few species of birds. It was very difficult for us to name the specific type of bird that we have seen since the only species of bird that we are very familiar with is the maya bird. We walked randomly around the science complex, passing through grassy areas that we are not used to. On our walk we saw about 6 brown birds, these could be either maya birds or brown shrike. We also saw a black bird with white circles on its wings. There were also a couple birds on the very top of a tree. These birds were hard to see since we didnt have binoculars. Based on our naked eye the two birds nesting was colour blue with red cheeks. We also saw a big hawk liked bird that flew across and we assume that it is actually an eagle. There are also a couple of birds on the electrical wire and those were probably the long tailed shrikes.

I was unaware of the diverse community of the birds within the campus at the beginning. It was very interesting to know that our campus is the only community in metro manila that has a wide bird community. It was said that there originally exists about a hundred species of endemic birds; however, with the increase in infrastructures that are being built in the university, the current number is approximately 50. It is very alarming to note that almost half of the species of birds in UP has disappeared (migrated or died) due to the improvements done in providing better equipment and buildings. The primary source of food and living for birds are trees and continuing to decrease the number of trees in the campus would surely reduce the number of bird inhabitants. The challenge is on how to maintain/improve the bird community simultaneously with the improvement of educational buildings/environments. Now I am more aware of the birds within UP and as students this opportunity must not be missed.

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