Each of the major Philippine Islands house their own unique collections of avian fauna species. Over 600 resident and migratory bird species have been recorded in numerous Philippines Islands. Years of isolation has rendered some of these bird species endemic to the Philippine archipelago. The following are the birds of the Philippines.
Philippine Duck (Anas luzonica)
The Philippine Duck (Anas luzonica) is endemic to the Philippines, having been sighted in all of the country's major islands as well as eight of the smaller islands. The Philippine duck inhabits both freshwater and saltwater wetlands and has been recorded in mangroves and open seas. The duck grows to 48 to 58 centimeters and is characterized by a cinnamon head with a black crown and a black stripe across the eye. The rest of the body is grayish-brown, and a glossy green patch on the wing is visible, which is bordered by black and a narrow white edge. The duck has a bluish-grey bill and grey-brown legs. The Philippine duck’s diet includes insects, fish, shrimps, rice, the shoots of young plants, and frogs. The duck is mostly active in early mornings and late afternoons and lives in small groups or pairs. The Philippine duck is listed as vulnerable due to threats such as habitat loss and hunting. Its numbers have been declining sharply due to rampant hunting. The use of pesticides on rice farms and draining of wetlands are also taking a toll on the species. The Philippine’s government has attempted to conserve the species in five reserves such as Maria Aurora Memorial Natural Park. Hunting of the species is also illegal in the country.
Tawitawi Brown Dove (Phapitreron cinereiceps)
Endemic to the Philippine Islands of Tawi-Tawi and Sanga-Sanga is the Tawitawi Brown Dove (Phapitreron cinereiceps). The dove is characterized by its general brown color and warm brown underparts. The dove grows to 27 centimeters and has a gray head. The species inhabits lowland forests and has been recorded in beach mangroves with both primary and secondary growth. The dove feeds on a variety of seeds and fruits. Listed as endangered, the major threat to its sustainability is deforestation. The species is not adequately protected and factors such as hunting, mining, and military activity are all potential threats to its survival.
Philippine Hanging Parrot (Loriculus philippensis)
The Philippine Hanging Parrot (Loriculus philippensis) is endemic to the Philippines and found in several of the country’s islands, including Luzon, Banton, and Marinduque. The male is mostly green with a red forehead and crown, a yellow line on the forehead, a gold-yellow spot on the neck and a red rump. The female is distinctive with blue cheeks and a red spot on its neck. The parrot has blue under tail feathers. The parrot has a wide habitat range including forests, bushy regions, coconut plantations, fruit trees, secondary growth forests, and bamboo clumps. The species feeds on seeds, nectar, fruits, and insects and lives in small groups. The parrot breeds between the months of March and May and again from September through November. The species is listed as least concern due to its wide population range. Degradation of its habitats has however been identified as a potential threat to its numbers.
Chocolate Boobook (Loriculus philippensis)
The Chocolate Boobook (Ninox randi) is endemic to all of the Philippines' major islands except for Palawan. The owl species is a member of the Strigidae family, and it lives in wooded and forested regions. The species grows to 27 to 33 centimeters and is characterized by a dark face with a small white region between its yellow eyes. The owl has a barred tail and a dark-brown plumage. The owl is nocturnal and predominately feeds on insects, small mammals, birds, crabs, and amphibians. The Chocolate Boobook is listed as near threatened due to the continuous degradation of its habitats. No significant conservation areas exist for the species although it is thought to be present in several protected regions.
Other Native Philippine Birds
Other native birds of the Philippines include the Philippine Kingfisher (Ceyx melanuru), the Cinnamon Ibon (Hypocryptadius cinnamomeus), the Balicassiao (Dicrurus balicassius), the Pale Spiderhunter (Arachnothera dilutior), the Palawan Babbler (Malacopteron palawanese), and the Mindanao Blue Fantail (Rhipidura superciliaris). The Philippines's ecosystems, along with other Southeast Asian countries, have been devastated by the effects of ongoing deforestation. The disappearance of forests has directly translated to the decline of habitats for the country’s rich diversity of avian fauna.
|Native Birds of the Philippines||Scientific Name|
|Philippine Duck||Anas luzonica|
|Tawitawi Brown Dove||Phapitreron cinereiceps|
|Philippine Hanging Parrot||Loriculus philippensis|
|Chocolate Boobook||Ninox randi|
|Philippine Kingfisher||Ceyx melanuru|
|Cinnamon Ibon||Hypocryptadius cinnamomeus|
|Pale Spiderhunter||Arachnothera dilutior|
|Palawan Babbler||Malacopteron palawanense|
|Mindanao Blue Fantail||Rhipidura superciliaris|