MASANTOL – From the wetlands of Candaba, migratory birds from different parts of the globe are now slowly taking refuge at the coastal areas of Masantol.
Thousands of migratory birds, which are escaping from the cold weather in their habitats in other countries, are now seen flocking along the harbor of Barangay Sapang Kawayan here.
Barangay Sapang Kawayan is located at the southern part of the coastal town of Masantol and its shore is considered the borderline of Pampanga River and Manila Bay.
Mike Lu, founding member and former president of the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines who studied the migratory birds in the town, said the habitat that Masantol offers is a coastal wetland with mudflats which serves as sanctuary for different kinds of birds.
He added that such orientation attracts a variety of “waterbirds” which are dependent on free-standing water to feed--–by swimming, wading or diving---or to establish nesting sites.
“Migratory birds are escaping from the winter cold and lack of food in the northern hemisphere. They are looking for food and a safe place to stay for the season,” Lu explained.
He said that the migrants generally start arriving in mid-September and may stay until late April while resident birds stay the whole year round.
The local government and Department of Environment and Natural Resources are yet to identify the species of birds travelling into this town but disclosed that they are more diverse than those seen in Candaba.
Mayor Danilo Guintu said that coastal wetlands are now considered a protected area--- no reclamation, no destruction of mangroves, no burning of grasslands---to preserve the habitat of the fowls.
Protection of the birds will also be ensured as no hunting, no catching, no nest or egg gathering will be strictly enforced.
Guintu said that bird watching activities are being organized by the local government, through the Municipal Tourism Office, with strict safety precautions.