Siquijor, an island province located in Central Visayas, Philippines, is a destination known for its pristine beaches, waterfalls, and mystical folklore.
Apart from these attractions, the province is also home to a diverse range of bird species that thrive in its unique environment.
From endemic species such as the Philippine bulbul and Siquijor racerunner, to migratory birds like the Chinese egret and spotted sandpiper, Siquijor offers a haven for bird enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.
This article will provide an overview of the different bird species found in Siquijor, their characteristics, and their contribution to the province's ecosystem.
1. Chestnut-winged cuckoo
The Chestnut-winged cuckoo is a beautiful bird found in Southeast Asia and parts of South Asia.
It has glossy black head with long crest, chestnut wings, rufous throat and dusky underside as well as narrow white nuchal half collar which make it distinct from other birds.
It breeds along the Himalayas during summer season and migrates south to Sri Lanka during winter season.
This species prefers dense forest habitat but can also be seen in open woodlands or grassland areas where they feed on small invertebrates such insects and worms.
They are known for their loud calls that are heard throughout the day especially early morning when they seek mates or announce territory presence.Scientific classification:
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2. Slaty-legged crake
The Slaty-legged Crake is a waterbird in the rail and crake family found across south Asia. It inhabits swamps, wetlands and well-wooded areas from India to Indonesia.
This species can be identified by its mottled grey coloration on their legs and wings as well as their bright red eyes. These birds are mainly permanent residents but some of them migrate further north during certain seasons.
They feed mostly on aquatic invertebrates such as insects, larvae, worms etc among other things including small fish or amphibians when available.
The female lays one clutch with 4-7 eggs per season which she incubates for 16 days before they hatch out into younglings who leave the nest within 2 weeks after hatching.
Their calls consist of low whistles which makes it difficult to spot them unless you know what to look for.Scientific classification:
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3. Himalayan cuckoo
The Himalayan cuckoo is a species of bird found in the mountains of the Himalayas and parts of East Asia. It migrates south during winter to Southeast Asia, where it can be seen in greater numbers from October to March.
The distinctive call of this medium-sized greyish brown bird with white patches on its wings has become synonymous with the arrival of springtime for many people living around its range.
Its diet consists mainly insects picked up from foliage or snatched out of midair, as well as an occasional fruit or berry when available.
It lives mostly solitary life but forms pairs while breeding season which typically lasts between April and June depending upon location within its range.Scientific classification:
Grebes are a type of diving bird found in freshwater habitats around the world. They belong to the order Podicipediformes and have 22 species that exist across six genera.
Some species can also be found in marine environments during their migration or winter season, and some even live flightless lives on stable lakes.
Grebes vary greatly between regions; for example, they range from 4-32 inches long with anywhere from 8-30 ounces of weight depending on which species it is.
Their plumage may be black, browns/grays or whites but usually consist of bright colors such as yellows, blues and greens while underwater they use these feathers to help them streamline through the water quickly.Scientific classification:
|Order||Podicipediformes Fürbringer, 1888|
|Family||Podicipedidae Bonaparte, 1831|
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5. Pink-necked green pigeon
The Pink-necked green pigeon is a beautiful bird of the Columbidae family, native to Southeast Asia. Its body is mainly covered with emerald feathers and only the male has an eye-catching pink neck.
It can be found from Myanmar and Vietnam down to Indonesia and even in parts of Philippines, where it's known as "punay".
This medium sized species loves feeding on fruits such as figs or guavas but also enjoys snacking on insects from time to time.
In its natural habitat, this colorful avian often nests high up in trees for better protection against predators.
All in all, the unique beauty of Pink-necked Green Pigeon makes it one truly remarkable bird.Scientific classification:
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6. Little egret
The Little Egret is a small white heron with sleek black beak, long black legs and in some cases yellow feet.
It can be found near aquatic areas where it feeds on molluscs, amphibians and insects while also occasionally feeding of land creatures such as lizards or rodents.
Breeding seasonally they make platform nests of sticks being built either by themselves or in colonies alongside other water birds.
They are widely distributed across the world from Europe to Africa, Asia to Australia making them an easily recognisable bird species often seen at waterside locations searching for their next meal.Scientific classification:
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7. Brown booby
The Brown Booby is a large, seabird from the booby family Sulidae. It has a pantropical range and can be found in many areas of the world.
This bird lives in flocks and forages by plunging into shallow waters to catch small fish that are driven near the surface by predators or storms.
The brown booby is known for its short wings which make it highly maneuverable when hunting; this allows it to pursue prey quickly with sudden turns and dives.
Its diet also includes squid, crustaceans, eggs of other birds, as well as scraps from boats or ships they may come across while flying around coastlines.
They sometimes rest on floating objects during their long flights over open water between islands or continents.Scientific classification:
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8. Great egret
The Great Egret is a large, white bird found in many regions of the world. It has four subspecies that reside across Asia, Africa, Americas and southern Europe.
This species usually lives near bodies of water such as lakes and marshes. They are also now starting to spread into more northern areas of Europe due to climate change.
These birds have long yellow legs with an impressive wingspan for their size which allows them to soar majestically through the sky hunting for fish or amphibians in shallow waters below.
Their feathers have been used historically by Native Americans as part of traditional garments or ceremonies but this practice should be avoided today so these amazing creatures can thrive without harm from humans.Scientific classification:
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9. Grey plover
The Grey Plover is a large plover bird which breeds in the Arctic regions. It then migrates over long distances, and can be found on coastlines around the world when not breeding.
The species was first described by Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus in 1758 under its binomial name "Tringa squatarola".
In addition to being known as grey plovers or black-bellied plovers, they are also sometimes referred to as “black-breasted lapwings” due to their distinctive plumage that features white underneath with dark greys above.
These birds inhabit beaches, mudflats and saltmarshes where they feed mainly on small invertebrates such as worms and insects.Scientific classification:
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10. Black-winged stilt
The Black-winged Stilt is a wading bird that belongs to the avocet and stilt family. It has very long legs, making it well adapted for standing in shallow water while searching for food like small fish and insects.
Its scientific name Himantopus himantopus can be applied either to one cosmopolitan species or the form found across Europe, Asia and Africa which equals its nominate group.
Generally this species is black on top with an all white underside but it also features red eyes with a thin white ring around each one as well as black wings flecked with white feathers towards the tips of their wings.Scientific classification:
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11. King quail
The King Quail is a species of Old World quail found in Southern China, South and Southeastern Asia to Oceania. It's the smallest "true quail" measuring only about 17 cm long.
They have grey-brown feathers on their back and wings with black barring over white underparts that can be seen from above.
The head has blue cheeks, a bright red forehead patch, and tufts of brownish-black feathers along the top while its throat is bordered by buffy yellow stripes down each side.
In addition males are also easily identified by their striking bluish plumage around the neck which gives them their common name ‘the Blue Breasted Quail’.
Despite an attempt to introduce this bird into North America they remain confined mostly to Australia where they inhabit grasslands, wooded areas near watercourses or swamps as well as open forest habitats but rarely exceed 100 meters altitude in rangeScientific classification:
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12. Eurasian whimbrel
Eurasian Whimbrels are a species of wading bird commonly found in subarctic regions of Europe and Asia.
They have white rumps, long curved bills, brown wings and backs with light streaking on the lower breast.
These birds feed mainly on crustaceans, mollusks or worms they find while probing in the mud during low tide.
During breeding season they can be seen nesting near coastal areas or wetlands where food is plentiful.
This species has recently been split from Hudsonian whimbrels but some authorities still consider them to be one species due to their similarities which includes migration patterns as well as habitat preferences.
Eurasian whimbrels are an important part of many ecosystems because they help control insect populations by eating larvae before it can cause damage to crops or vegetation nearby.Scientific classification:
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13. Red-footed booby
The Red-footed Booby is a large seabird of the Sulidae family, easily distinguished by its bright red feet. These birds are strong and agile fliers but can be clumsy in takeoffs and landings.
They live mostly in tropical areas and breed colonially on coastal islands all over the world.
The species faces few threats from either nature or humans, however their population has decreased slightly due to disturbances near breeding sites.
Despite this mild decline, they remain an incredibly common sight across many parts of the tropics - so much so that they have become symbolic with island life.Scientific classification:
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14. Wedge-tailed shearwater
The wedge-tailed shearwater is a medium-large seabird found in the tropical Pacific and Indian Oceans. It is one of several species referred to as muttonbirds, along with the sooty and short-tailed shearwaters.
These birds have long wings that allow them to soar for extended periods over large bodies of water while searching for food such as fish, squid, crustaceans, cephalopods and other marine invertebrates.
During mating season they nest on islands or small sandy beaches where both parents take turns caring for their chicks until they fledge at around two months old.
Wedge-taileds are an important part of many island cultures who traditionally hunt these birds during certain times of year when populations peak due to migration patterns.Scientific classification:
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15. Javan pond heron
The Javan Pond Heron is a beautiful wading bird that can be found in shallow fresh and salt-water wetlands of Southeast Asia.
It has an overall orange, slaty and white colouring during mating season with yellow bill, black tip on its bill and yellow eyes.
Its length typically measures 45 cm long with white wings. The heron’s diet consists mainly of insects, fish, crabs as well as any other small creatures it may find along the shoreline or water bed where they live.
These birds are usually solitary but can also sometimes gather in groups to hunt for food at dusk when their prey are more active.
They use their keen vision to spot potential prey before quickly darting forward to catch them using their sharp bills.Scientific classification:
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16. Pacific swift
The Pacific Swift is a species of bird belonging to the swift family. It has an unmistakable shape and black plumage, making it easily recognizable.
The white rump band along with heavily marked underparts are what distinguishes it from its relative, the common swift.
This beautiful bird breeds in eastern Asia and migrates during winter season towards Southeast Asia as well as Australia.
Its diet consists mainly of insects which they capture while flying at high speeds through the air; this allows them to cover long distances quickly when migrating or searching for food sources such as swarms of flies or other small animals like grasshoppers and beetles.
They usually live in large colonies near water bodies so that their prey can be found nearby without much effort on their part.Scientific classification:
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17. Philippine swiftlet
The Philippine swiftlet is a species of bird belonging to the Apodidae family found only in the Philippines. It inhabits dry and moist lowland forests as well as montane forests, making it quite adaptable.
The coloration of this small-medium sized bird ranges from greyish brown to black with white markings on its wings and tail feathers.
Its diet consists mainly of insects which are caught while flying through the air or picked up off trees or branches.
This species has been classified by IUCN Red List as least concern due to its wide distribution range across multiple islands within the country, although some local populations may be at risk if deforestation continues unchecked in their habitats.Scientific classification:
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18. Pygmy swiftlet
The Pygmy Swiftlet is a species of swift found only in the Philippines and boasts the title as being the world's smallest swift at under 9 cm in length.
This tiny bird weighs an astounding 5 grams, but what makes it truly unique is its ability to use echolocation for navigation when nesting deep within dark caves.
It has adapted this skill due to its lack of light given off by other sources such as stars or moonlight.
The pygmy swiftlet survives on small insects that can be found within their natural habitat of subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, making them an important part of local ecosystems.Scientific classification:
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19. Square-tailed drongo-cuckoo
The square-tailed drongo-cuckoo bird is a type of cuckoo that bears resemblance to a black drongo. It can be found in the Himalayas, extending to Southeast Asia.
This bird was previously thought to include another subspecies, which is now considered a separate species, the fork-tailed drongo-cuckoo. Its calls are distinct and sharp, consisting of a series of piercing whistles.
Despite its similarities to the black drongo, this cuckoo bird is a unique and fascinating species of its own. Its square tail sets it apart from other birds in the region.
The square-tailed drongo-cuckoo is a fascinating species for birdwatchers and scientists alike, contributing to our understanding of avian biodiversity in the region.Scientific classification:
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20. Plaintive cuckoo
The plaintive cuckoo bird is a small species belonging to the cuckoo family, found across Asia. It measures about 21-24 cm in length and the male has a grey-brown body with orange underneath.
The head, throat and upper breast are grey, and the tail feathers have white spots. This bird has a distinctive call that is often heard in its habitat. They are found in India, Nepal, China and Indonesia.
The plaintive cuckoo prefers forested areas and feeds on insects, which it catches by hopping on branches. It is a fascinating bird to observe in its natural environment.Scientific classification:
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