Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Welcome to the Philippine Bird Photography Site!



Philippines Eagle Owl, originally uploaded by Don Sausa.


Welcome to the Philippines Bird Photography site!



This site's intended mission is to help photograph and document Philippine birds, especially those that are endemic to the country. By doing so, we hope to encourage the conservation of these fine animals and their habitats. We will also share photography tips.

Posted here is an example of an owl that can only be found in the Philippines.

The Philippine Eagle-owl, otherwise known as Bubo philippensis, is a vulnerable species of bird belonging to the Strigidae family. It can be found on the islands of Catanduanes, Samar, Bohol, Mindanao, Luzon, Leyte and possibly Sibuyan.

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Want to support our efforts? You can follow our progress and our efforts to document the wonderful birds of the Philippines. Click on the links below.





Thanks for your support!

Don Sausa
Photographer

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Whiskered Tern (Chlidonias hybridus) Catches A Fish

Location: Las Pinas, Paranaque, Philippines

Whiskered Tern (Chlidonias hybridus)

Before I headed back to the hotel I stopped by at one coastal area and saw a number of terns and egrets. I got out of the van, asked the guard in my broken Tagalog if I could photograph birds, walked up to the dirty shore and started shooting. No tripods or monopods, just my rig.

For this particular shot, I thought he just picked up trash as the place was very dirty, but as I looked closer on my LCD, it was a fish! Good job Mr. Tern.

Equipment: Canon 7D + Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS, available light, handheld (unfortunately), 1/1600 secs, f/4.5, ISO 800, Subject distance: 79m

Thursday, October 28, 2010

DOCUMENTARY ONLY - Javan Pond Heron (Ardeola speciosa)

Location: Bacolod City port area, Negros, Philippines

Javan Pond Heron (Ardeola speciosa)

This is a documentary shot and not necessarily a "publishable" image. I was too far away to get close-ups, but here's more activity of the javan pond heron in Bacolod City, Negros.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Olive Backed Sunbird (Cinnyris jugularis) -2106

A male olive-backed sunbird (Cinnyris jugularis) visited my house today and brought along several female friends. I was able to record his call which can be found below.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

White-collared Kingfisher (Todiramphus chloris)-1356

Location: Mt. Kanlaon National Park (above Mambukal), Negros, Philippines

A Scottish birder, Gerry Brett, who resides in Thailand stopped by in Bacolod and did some sorties with me. One of the places I took him to was right above Mambukal Mountain Resort near the Mt. Kanlaon National Park.

One of the birds we saw was this very old White-collared Kingfisher. A very common bird found typically in the mangroves but I have seen them all throughout Negros island's elevation range from the coastal areas to the low land forests.

This bird varies from blue to green above and the underbody typically is white.

Equipment: Canon 7D + Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS + 1.4x TC: 1/400 secs, f5.6, ISO 400

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

White-Bellied Munia (Lonchura leucogastra) 0308

Location: Mt. Kanlaon National Park (Mambukal area), Negros, Philippines

The White-bellied Munia (Lonchura leucogastra) is a species of estrildid finch found in the Philippines and other parts of SE Asia. In the Philippines, you can find them in moist forests and rice fields. They are not common in urban areas.

I went to Mambukal Mountain Resort, home to Negros' famous hot springs and large fruit bats. It is also one of the entrances to Mt. Kanlaon National Park. As I pulled up to find parking, I found what looked like sparrows flying about and those are fairly common in the urban areas. But upon closer inspection, they were finches that I have never seen before.

In fact, there were hundreds of them. It was probably a nesting or feeding site and it had an awkward smell of "rotten eggs" because it was so close to the sulfur springs. Unfortunately, workers for the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) seem to have been removing the plant materials in the area to make it "look better" for visitors -- how unfortunate. I think this was their breeding grounds.

The conditions were very difficult to shoot in as the forest canopy restricted natural light, plus the subject was also dark. I had to use fill flash, high ISOs, and monopod support to attain slower shutter speeds.

Canon 7D + Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS + 1.4x TC: 1/160 secs, f/7.1, ISO 2000, fill flash fired. Manfrotto monopod support. Subject distance: 17.5m. (Take note of the shutter speed on an effective focal length of 1120mm.)

Red Turtle Dove (Streptopelia tranquebarica)

Location: Town of Murcia, Negros, Philippines

The Red Turtle Dove (Streptopelia tranquebarica), also known as the Red Collared Dove, is a small pigeon which is a resident breeding bird in the tropics in the Indian subcontinent and as we see here, it can also be found in the Philippines.

Canon 7D + Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS + 1.4x TC: 1/1000 secs, f5.6, ISO 250, handheld in available light, subject distance: 45.7m

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Pied Bushchat (Saxicola caprata)-1697

The Pied Bushchat (Saxicola caprata randi) is a small passerine bird found ranging all throughout West, Central, and Southeast Asia. There's about sixteen subspecies including the randi subspecies geographically situated in Negros island, Philippines.

I photographed this bird in one of the subdivisions in Bacolod City. He was some distance away from me and when he saw the camera sticking out of my car, he flew from where he was and came closer. He was literally only 6.16m away from me.

It is a familiar bird of countryside and open scrub or grassland where it is found perched at the top of short thorn trees or other shrubs, looking out for insect prey. They pick up insects mainly from the ground.

They nest in cavities in stone walls or in holes in an embankment, lining the nest with grass and animal hair. The males are black with white shoulder and vent patches. Females are predominantly brownish while juveniles are speckled.

Equipment: Canon 7D + Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS (handheld) + 1.4x TC: 1/250 secs, f/5.6, ISO 3200, available light, subject distance: 6.16m

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Brown Shrike (Lanius cristatus)-0414

Location: Mt Kanlaon National Park, Negros, Philippines

A young Brown Shrike (Lanius cristatus) posed for me for quite some time when he was perched on this corn stalk. My camera looks like a tree and I was wearing all brown. He was probably was wondering why a tree would walk like a man.

This particular species is migratory and they start appearing in the Philippines around September. Most of their diet is composed of insects and they have a unique habit of impaling insects on thorns, a rather violent behavior for such a cute animal.

This photograph was shot near the entrance of Mt Kanlaon Park in Negros Occidental, Philippines.

Canon 7D + Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS + 1.4x TC: 1/320 secs, f/6.3, ISO 1600, Available light, no flash, Subject distance: 25.2m, Manfrotto monopod support

Lesser Coucal (Centropus bengalensis)

Location: Bacolod, Philippines

The Lesser Coucal (Centropus bengalensis) is a species of cuckoo in the Cuculidae family. Like most cuckoos it is insectivorous. I photographed him near my house. I was also able to record his bird call which can be found below.

Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS + 1.4x TC + Canon 7D: 1/250 secs, f/5.6, ISO 800. Subject distance: 17.5m.



Friday, September 17, 2010

Nankeen Night Heron aka Rufous Night Heron (Nycticorax caledonicus)

Location: Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary, Philippines

Nankeen Night Heron aka Rufous Night Heron (Nycticorax caledonicus)

I found this bird perched on a tree nearby the sanctuary's main entrance. Apparently, he's been a frequent visitor to this location and has been tagged by the local rangers.

It is found throughout much of Australia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea and Melanesia.

The Nankeen Night Heron stands about 60cm tall. It is not strictly nocturnal. It often feeds during the day, especially during wet weather. The bird is dependent on a diet of small fish, reptiles, insects and sometimes eggs. It can be seen around freshwater rivers, lakes, bulrushes, estuaries, harbors and in residential fishponds for goldfish.

Equipment: Canon 550D + Canon 17-40mm f/4L: 1/80 secs, f/6.3, ISO 200, subject distance: 3.72m

Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)

Location: Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary, Philippines

Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) is a small white heron.

The adult Little Egret is 55–65 cm long with an 88–106 cm wingspan. It weighs 350–550 grams. Its plumage is all white. It has long black legs with yellow feet and a slim black bill. In the breeding season, the adult has two long nape plumes and gauzy plumes on the back and breast. The bare skin between the bill and eyes becomes red or blue. Juveniles are similar to non-breeding adults but have duller legs and feet. The subspecies garzetta has yellow feet and a bare patch of grey-green skin between the bill and eyes, whereas nigripes has yellow skin between the bill and eye and blackish feet.

This egret stalks its prey in shallow water, often running with raised wings or shuffling its feet. It may also stand still and wait to ambush prey. It eats fish, insects, amphibians, crustaceans, and reptiles.

Equipment: Canon 7D + Canon 500mm f/4L IS: 1/1250 secs, f5.6, ISO 400, Subject distance: 80m, available light

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Striated Grassbird (Megalurus palustris)

Location: Bacolod, Philippines

The Striated Grassbird (Megalurus palustris) is an "Old World warbler" species in the family Megaluridae. It was formerly placed in the Sylviidae. They are noisy birds and it's not very often that you will find them sitting in one spot for long. They will fly to thick bushes and grasses when they are scared.

I was in my car when I shot this about 25m away. I have seen them occur all throughout Negros Occidental, they seem to be widely distributed in the island.

This one instantly popped out because of it's yellowish color.

Canon 7D + Canon 500mm f/4L IS + 1.4x TC: 1/1000 sec, f6.3, ISO 400, Subject distance: 25.2m

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Philippine Bulbul (Hypsipetes philippinus)

Location: Mt. Kanlaon National Park

Philippine Bulbul (Hypsipetes philippinus)

This was taken on the first day of our trek near Mt. Kanlaon National Park. We started our day at Mambukal Hot Spring Resort which is one of the entry ways to the park. You can hire mountain guides for less than $5 USD. This area is heavily wooded, which is good for the birds and quite a challenge for photographers.

I saw the Philippine Bulbul occur all throughout this area from 100m (328 feet) elevation and higher up to about 1000m (3280 feet).

As you may be able to tell from the name, this bird is endemic to the Philippines and cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

Canon 7D + Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM + 1.4x extender: 1/320 secs, f6.3, ISO 2000, Subject distance: 32.4m, Manfrotto monopod support. Fill-flash fired.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Yellowish White-eye (Zosterops nigrorum)

Location: Mt. Kanlaon National Park

Yellowish White-eye (Zosterops nigrorum)

It was raining around Mt. Kanlaon and quite slippery in the mountain trails. Probably one of the most difficult sorties I've taken so far in the Philippines. I literally fell 3 times.

This small group of yellowish white-eyes were flying near 600m.

Though mainly insectivorous, they eat nectar and fruits of various kinds. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests.

This is endemic to the Philippines and can be found nowhere else in the world.

Equipment: Canon 1D Mk II + Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS: 1/3200 sec, 300mm, ISO 3200, available light

Friday, September 10, 2010

Handheld Shot of the Zebra Dove (Geopelia striata)

Location: Bacolod/Silay, Philippines

Zebra Dove (Geopelia striata)

I was at a food stop that backed into a grassy field near the airport and saw this zebra dove walking about. This species is native to Southeast Asia and I've seen them all over Negros and Bacolod many times.

The only painful part about this shot is that I wasn't prepared so I had to handhold the Canon 7D + 500mm f/4L IS setup.

Canon 7D + Canon 500mm f/4L IS: 1/320 secs, f5.6, ISO 500, Subject Distance: 15.3 meters

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus)


Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus), originally uploaded by Don Sausa.

Location: Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary, Philippines

I was able to observe a dozen or so of this kind at Olango Island, Philippines. For more information about this wildlife sanctuary that's part of the East Asian-Australasian Flyway, you can access my quick guide on how to get there.

The Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus) is a wader in the large family Scolopacidae. It is the one of the most widespread of the curlews breeding across much of subarctic North America, Europe and Asia as far south as Scotland.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

White Breasted Wood Swallow (Artamus leucorynchus)

Location: Bacolod, Philippines

The White-breasted Woodswallow (Artamus leucorynchus) is a small passerine bird which breeds from Southeast Asia to northern Australia. The name "wood swallow" is a misnomer as these birds are not closely related to true swallows. They belong to the Artamidae family, which includes butcherbirds, and currawongs.

Here is a short video clip of this bird (full HD available):

Monday, September 6, 2010

Getting There: Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary

OIWS facility, bottom floor has tables.

The steps to the viewing deck.  On my second day, the steps were submerged since it was high tide.


Visiting Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary (OIWS)

This U.S. Labor Day, I visited Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary. I didn't find any instructions on how to get there, so I'm writing this post to help out future bird watchers and bird photographers interested in visiting this location.

Cost assumptions below are based on a dollar exchange rate of 1 USD to 45 PHP (Philippine peso).

About Olango Island

It's a remote island near Cebu, Philippines. This island is recognized under an international treaty called the Ramsar Convention as one of the most important wetlands in the world.

The late President Corazon Aquino declared the 1,020 hectares of tidal flats in Olango a protected area under Proclamation No. 903 mainly because it's role in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway, where nearly 5 million birds from Alaska and mainland Asia travel each year to Southeast Asia and Australia.

Close to 100 species of birds migrate to or reside in the island. There's also white sand beaches and huge reef systems nearby for swimmers, divers, and snorklers.

Directions: Getting To The Sanctuary, Transportation, and Costs

After landing in Cebu's Mactan International Airport (CEB), you can take a taxi to ferry wharf near the Hilton Hotel. The taxi ride is going to cost you an equivalent of $3 USD dollars. From the wharf, you will have to pay an equivalent of $0.50 cents to pay for the ferry fare and terminal fee to go to the island. Make sure to ask which ferry to go to as all of the ferries look alike and don't have any signs on which island they go to.

After a short 20 minute ride, you'll arrive on the island. There's hardly any cars on the island, so you will have to take a motorcycle cab to the wildlife sanctuary. The flat rate cost is equivalent to $3 USD dollars. Make sure to arrange for your return trip home or you will have a long walk back to the ferry terminal.

The last ferry to the Hilton wharf leaves at 7pm.

Food/Facilities

OIWS does have running water, restrooms, and a small campground area. Sometimes a farmer may sell fresh coconuts to you for half a buck. My suggestion though is eat a large breakfast early in the morning and use the restroom facilities in your hotel room before trekking to this location. Pack light snacks and at least six bottles of water if your staying there only for the day.

They charge roughly $10 USD to photograph birds and about $1 entry fee.

Hotel Accomodation

I use the hotels in Cebu. There are several 3 to 4 star hotels near the airport including Waterfront, Hilton, Shangri-la and others.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Golden-bellied Gerygone (Gerygone sulphurea)

Location: Balaring, Silay, Philippines

Golden-bellied Gerygone aka Golden-bellied Flyeater (Gerygone sulphurea).

I was walking around Balaring's mangrove forest and this bird "played" with me a bit, constantly flying around me. I was wearing RealTree camouflage so I think it was curious why a tree was walking.

The problem I had with capturing more of this specimen was my lens was too long! I came in with a 500mm so I could setup some decent shots from a distance when this particular bird came in a few feet of me. It would have been better with a 300mm. This bird was slightly taller than the size of my thumb.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Pied Fantail (Rhipidura javanica)

Bird: Pied Fantail (Rhipidura javanica)
Location: Bacolod, Philippines
Settings: 1/100 secs, f/6.3, ISO 500, Canon 7D + Canon 500mm f/4L IS + 1.4x TC

Scaly-breasted Munia (Lonchura punctulata) @ ISO 2500

Location: My backyard, Bacolod, Philippines
Settings: 1/640 sec, f/6.3, ISO 2500 (Yes, ISO 2500!)
Equipment: Canon 7D + Canon 500mm f/4L IS + 1.4x TC

The Scaly-breasted Munia (Lonchura punctulata) also known as Nutmeg Mannikin or Spice Finch is a small estrildid finch. It is a resident breeding bird in tropical southern Asia from India to Sri Lanka and east from Indonesia to the Philippines.

White-browed Crake (Porzana cinerea)

Location: Bacolod, Philippines ("Don's Secret Bird Spot")

The White-browed Crake (Porzana cinerea) is a species of bird in the Rallidae family. It occurs in Southeast Asia and Australia.

I'm effectively watching a narrow strip of land in Bacolod (about 20 ft by 3 ft) that's yielded so far 6 species in a 4 hour period. Hence, my "secret" little birding spot.

Indo-Pacific Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus orientalis)

Indo-Pacific Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus orientalis)

God gave me a present yesterday. Extremely lucky to be able to capture this despite not being able to properly setup for the shot. I was shooting in video mode for another bird, a Pied Bushchat (Saxicola caprata), when this rare Indo-Pacific Common Moorhen just popped out of nowhere! (Rare is relative, it isn't common in my area.)

This bird moved very quickly and I was lucky to be able to get this shot before it disappeared in the bush.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Black-headed Munia or Chestnut Munia (Lonchura atricapilla)

Location: Bacolod, Philippines

The Black-headed Munia aka the Chestnut Munia (Lonchura atricapilla) is a resident estrildid finch found in the Philippines and it also occurs throughout Southeast Asia. It was formerly the national bird of the Philippines.

This shot was taken from my backyard in Bacolod, Philippines using a Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS + 1.4x TC. He is on top of my mango tree. This is a shy, fast moving, very small finch (length of your index finger) and takes a great deal of luck and patience just taking this shot. Settings: 1/640 sec, f/6.3, ISO 640.

Greater Crested Tern (Thalasseus bergii, formerly Sterna bergii)

Greater Crested Tern or Great Crested Tern (formerly Sterna bergii, changed to Thalasseus bergii) flying near the mangrove forests of Balaring, Silay, Negros Occidental, Philippines.

Subject was at least a few hundred meters away and was a bit difficult to photograph. Taken Aug 7, 2010.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Javan Pond Heron (Ardeola speciosa) @ Balaring, Silay, Philippines Bird Photography Trip

Location: Balaring, Silay, Negros Occidental.

Read about my Balaring bird trip.

Javan Pond Heron (Ardeola speciosa) is a wading bird of the heron family, found in wetlands in the Philippines and throughout Southeast Asia. They eat fish, insects, and crabs.

Little Egret vs Javan Pond Heron @ Balaring, Silay, Philippines Bird Photography Trip

Location: Balaring, Silay, Negros Occidental.

Read about my Balaring bird trip.

Javan Pond Heron (Ardeola speciosa) and the Little Egret (Egretta Garzetta) face off at one tree.

Little Egret vs Javan Pond Heron Part II @ Balaring, Silay, Philippines Bird Photography Trip

Location: Balaring, Silay, Negros Occidental.

Read about my Balaring bird trip.

Javan Pond Heron (Ardeola speciosa) and the Little Egret (Egretta Garzetta) no longer friends.

Philippine Maya or Chestnut Munia (Lonchura atricapilla) @ Balaring, Silay, Philippines Bird Photography Trip

Location: Balaring, Silay, Negros Occidental.

Read about my Balaring bird trip.

Philippine Maya Bird aka Chestnut Munia aka (Lonchura atricapilla jagori)

The Black-headed Munia also known as Chestnut Munia (Lonchura atricapilla) is an estrildid finch found throughout Asia. There's a subspecies that's endemic to the Philippines called Lonchura atricapilla jagori.

Striated Heron (Butorides Striatus) @ Talisay, Philippines Bird Photography Trip

Location: Talisay, Negros Occidental.

Read about my Balaring bird trip.

Striated Heron (Butorides striata)

Their breeding habitat is small wetlands. These birds can be found in West Africa, Australia, Japan, and apparently at Talisay, Philippines.

These birds stand still at the water's edge and wait to ambush prey, but are easier to see than many small heron species. They mainly eat small fish, frogs and aquatic insects. They sometimes use bait, dropping a feather or leaf carefully on the water surface and picking fish that come to investigate.

Talisay is the city next to Silay. There's a few resorts that have mangroves which this bird happened to visit.

Javan Pond Heron (Ardeola speciosa) @ Balaring, Silay, Philippines Bird Photography Trip

Location: Balaring, Silay, Negros Occidental.

Read about my Balaring bird trip.

Javan Pond Heron (Ardeola speciosa) is a wading bird of the heron family, found in wetlands in the Philippines and throughout Southeast Asia. They eat fish, insects, and crabs.

You'll notice in this picture there's a second Javan Pond Heron in the background.

Pacific Swallow (Hirundo tahitica) @ Balaring, Silay, Philippines Bird Photography Trip

Location: Balaring, Silay, Negros Occidental.

Read about my Balaring bird trip.

The Pacific Swallow or Hill Swallow (Hirundo tahitica) is a small passerine bird in the swallow family. It breeds in the tropics of Southeast Asia and typically covers the coasts.

It's a very fast flyer and typically eats flies and other flying insects.

White-collared Kingfisher (Todirhampus chloris) @ Balaring, Silay, Philippines Bird Photography Trip

Location: Balaring, Silay, Negros Occidental.

Read about my Balaring bird trip.

White-collared Kingfisher (Todirhampus chloris)

This bird varies from blue to green above and the underbody typically is white. It's a common bird found in Negros province and occurs throughout Asia.

It's typically found near the coastal areas, and since the Philippines is a multi-island nation, it's a common sight.

Little Egret (Egretta Garzetta) @ Balaring, Silay, Philippines Bird Photography Trip

Location: Balaring, Silay, Negros Occidental.

Little Egret (Egretta Garzetta)

Read about my Balaring bird trip.

They breed around large inland wetlands and coastal wetlands in warm temperate parts of Europe, Asia, Africa, Taiwan, and Australia.

This egret stalks its prey in shallow water as it was doing in this photograph. It eats fish, insects, amphibians, crustaceans, and reptiles.

Striated Heron (Butorides striata) @ Balaring, Silay, Philippines Bird Photography Trip

Location: Balaring, Silay, Negros Occidental.

Read about my Balaring bird trip.

Their breeding habitat is small wetlands. These birds can be found in West Africa, Australia, Japan, and apparently at Balaring, Silay, Philippines.

These birds stand still at the water's edge and wait to ambush prey, but are easier to see than many small heron species. They mainly eat small fish, frogs and aquatic insects. They sometimes use bait, dropping a feather or leaf carefully on the water surface and picking fish that come to investigate.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Olive Backed Sunbird (Cinnyris jugularis)

An olive-backed sunbird (Cinnyris jugularis) drinks nectar from this sliced coconut flower. In the Philippines and parts of Asia, the nectar is collected and used for palm wine. It also attracts these small songbirds.

Fight! Olive-backed Sunbirds (Cinnyris jugularis)

Olive-backed Sunbirds (Cinnyris jugularis) fight for dominance on this coconut tree. The nectar that comes from the coconut flower is very sweet and is collected for palm wine in these parts.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Scaly-breasted Munia or The Spice Finch (Lonchura punctulata cabanisi)

"The Three Finches"

Shot on Negros Island, photographed at the Bulata village in the municipality of Cauayan, Negros Island on May 31, 2010.

This location is about 10 minutes away by boat from Danjugan Island Marine and Wildlife Reserve, a known sanctuary for birds.

This is sometimes called the Scaly-breasted Munia or The Spice Finch (Lonchura punctulata cabanisi). It is also one of the birds mistakenly called "maya" in the Philippines. They will call almost any small brown bird as "maya" down here.

For more information on what a real maya looks like, access Philippine National Bird web site.

Scaly-breasted Munia or The Spice Finch (Lonchura punctulata cabanisi)

Shot on Negros Island, photographed at the Bulata village in the municipality of Cauayan, Negros Island on May 31, 2010. He was attempting to get the leaves from this branch.

This location is about 10 minutes away by boat from Danjugan Island Marine and Wildlife Reserve, a known sanctuary for birds.

This is sometimes called the Scaly-breasted Munia or The Spice Finch (Lonchura punctulata cabanisi). It is also one of the birds mistakenly called "maya" in the Philippines. They will call almost any small brown bird as "maya" down here.

Philippine Hawk Eagle (Nisaetus philippensis)

The Philippine Hawk-eagle (Nisaetus philippensis earlier treated under Spizaetus philippensis) is a species of bird of prey in the Accipitridae family.

Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests. It is threatened by habitat loss and is considered a vulnerable species likely to become endangered unless survival and reproduction improve.

Negros Bleeding Heart (Gallicolumba keayi)

This beautiful bird, the Negros Bleeding-heart (Gallicolumba keayi), is unfortunately close to extinction due to over hunting and habitat lost. It is mainly found in the islands of Panay and Negros. It is estimated that there are only a hundred of these birds left in the Negros island. The local name for this species is punalada. Like all bleeding-heart doves, they can only be found in the Philippines.

This species has an extremely small, severely fragmented population. Continuing rates of forest loss on the two islands where it occurs suggest that it will continue to decline, thereby qualifying it as critically endangered with the possibility of being extinct in the wild within years time.

Chestnut Munia or Philippine Maya (Lonchura atricapilla jagori)

This is the official Philippine Maya bird or Black-headed Munia or Chestnut Munia (Lonchura atricapilla jagori). This estrildid finch subspecies is endemic to the Philippines, though you can find the main species spread across Asia.

Before the Philippine Eagle was declared as the national bird in 1995, this bird previously held that title. Unfortunately, most Filipinos mistaken the Eurasian Tree Sparrow as the maya bird. Read more about the National Bird of the Philippines. Shot on a Canon 7D + Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS + 1.4x TC extender.

Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus)

Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Falsely known as maya)

This is the Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus).

A very common bird in the Philippines, Europe, and the rest of Asia. This bird is often wrongly identified as a "maya". This bird is not native to the Philippines and has never been a national bird.

For more information about the real maya, read National Bird of the Philippines page.

Shot using a Canon 7D + Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS + 1.4x extender.

Pied Fantail With No Tail (Rhipidura javanica)

This Pied Fantail (Rhipidura javanica) had a serious battle with something and lost its tail. Fortunately he is still alive and gave me a visit at my backyard.

Shot on a Canon 7D + 300mm f/4L IS + 2x TC extender.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Luzon Bleeding-heart (Gallicolumba Luzonica)

Location: Bacolod, Philippines

A dying breed, the Luzon Bleeding-heart (Gallicolumba luzonica) is a number of species of ground dove in the genus Gallicolumba that are called "bleeding-hearts". They get this name from a splash of vivid red color at the centre of their white breasts. The Luzon Bleeding-heart is the species where this feature is the most pronounced.

Range
The species can only be found in the central and southern parts of Luzon and the small islands of Polillo. It lives in primary or secondary forest, and can be found at altitudes varying from sea level up to 1400 metres.

Diet and Behavior
They eat seeds, berries and grubs. They are shy and secretive, and very quiet, and rarely leave the ground except when nesting. Unlike the other bleeding-hearts, they usually lay two eggs in each clutch.

Threat Level
Classified as "near threatened".

Coleto (Sarcops calvus)


Coleto (Sarcops calvus), originally uploaded by Don Sausa.

This awkward looking bird with a pink featherless head isn't the Philippines' most attractive endemic creature. Nonetheless, its strange features make an interesting photograph.

The Coleto bird (Sarcops calvus) is a starling species (family Sturnidae) in the monotypic genus Sarcops. It is endemic to the Philippines.