Foreign, local birders to join 1st bird fest in Zambo City PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 17 February 2015 18:23

The Zamboanga State College of Marine Sciences and Technology (ZSCMST) in coordination with the Department of Tourism (DOT) here is now gearing up for the first locally-organized bird festival, tentatively scheduled on February 26-27. Foreign and local members of the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines are expected to join.

“Because of last year’s Philippine Bird Festival in Zamboanga City, many foreign and local birders have recognized the city as a birding destination,” shared DOT Regional Director Maryjune Bugante in a press conference last week.

The 9th Philippine Bird Festival was held February last year, barely six months after the siege. About a hundred members of the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines came and joined in the activities. Many of them are foreign tourists coming from Denmark, France, England and other countries.

“Promoting this activity is a challenge, considering the peace and order situation. However, we would like to note that last year, the bird festival was the first big event in the city after the siege,” said Bugante. “We would like to continue what was started, and the Wild Bird Club has been supporting us.”

Bugante explained that it was the bird club’s recognition of Zamboanga as having the highest count of migratory birds in the entire country that led to the holding of this activity. “They do this bird count every year,” she added.

“We are expecting many birders to join since most of them want to see for themselves the rich species of birds here, of those that they only see on Facebook,” Bugante stressed.

Bugante emphasized that the bird festival is not just about promoting tourism. In part, it is also promoting environmental awareness.

Part of the activities includes bird watching in the ZSCMST ponds where several migrant Egrets have made their residence and breed. Other activities include film showings for students as well as lectures from the bird experts.

Meanwhile, ZSCMST President Milavel Nazario shared her excitement for the activity. “We are very proud to host this first Zamboanga bird festival,” she said. “This is a very positive development for Zamboanga, and we have to move on from what had happened,” she said.

The ZSCMST’s bird sanctuary is located in ground zero of the 2013 siege. “We want to show the public, local, national and international, that we have moved on.” — FPG/DIS/PIA9-Zamboanga City