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This blog is an amateur photographer's attempt to show how beautiful the world really is. He is drawn to the colors of nature like a moth to a candle light. What are showcased here are nature's grand display of colors at sunrise and sunset, beautiful beaches and off-the-beaten track locations in his beloved Philippines, waterfalls and some of nature's great sculptures, architectural gems, and other views from around SE Asia that he was fortunate to see at one point.

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June 25, 2015

tacurong | revisiting baras bird sanctuary


Cattle Egret - Out on a limb

I recently made the trip back to Baras Bird Sanctuary in Tacurong (Sultan Kudarat, southern Mindanao) and was happy to find out that efforts are in place to protect the sanctuary and the birds are thriving. In fact they have sort of reclaimed a nearby area on the same property, increasing their nesting ground to about 2.5 hectares.

Related post: My first visit to Baras


There is an interesting story about how the sanctuary started (you may want to check the link above). What special about Baras is that its a nesting and breeding ground, so there are resident birds there. Its strategic location: close to rivers and lakes and swamplands, provides the birds with a steady supply of food.

Egret chick in nest

You can easily spot herons and egrets, as they seem to make up the majority of the population, but there are at least 10 species of birds there. Some are just difficult to take photos of, specially those with nests high up on the trees.

Here are some of the birds you can easily take photos of in Baras.

Black Crowned Night Heron

Black Crowned Night Heron
Scientific Name: Nycticorax Nycticorax

Originally from North America, its habitat usually includes wetlands, marshes, and swamplands. Its the size of a small chicken, and unlike other members of the heron family, they are stocky with shorter legs and bills.

Black Crowned Night Heron

They are typically active at night or early morning, so you'll see a lot of them resting in trees during day time.

Cattle Egrets

Cattle Egret
Scientific Name:  Bubulcus Ibis

Originally from Africa from has spread across North America and parts of southern Asia. Their habitat consist of woodlands near lakes, rivers, and swamps.

Cattle Egret

During the breeding season, its plumes would look buffed, especially the males. Its typical to see the orange-buff plumes on the back, breast, and crown. It has a special relationship with large grazing animals like cattle. They would remove ticks and flies from cattle and would consume them.

Cattle Egrets

Great Egret

Great Egret
Scientific Name: Ardea alba

The great egret (right bird on the photo above)  is one of the most widely distributed egret. Its of the largest member of the heron family and with its all plumage its a bit difficult to photograph as you can easily over expose it :) Here you can see it sporting its green facial skin which is indicative of the breeding season.

You can also easily mistake it for an Intermediate Egret, a medium size heron originally from Indochina, Myanmar, and Southwest China. The noticeable kink near the middle of its neck gives it away as a great egret.

According to Wikipedia, you can also differentiate it from the intermediate egret (Mesophoyx intermedius) by the gape, which extends well beyond the back of the eye in case of the great egret, but ends just behind the eye in case of the intermediate egret.
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Lantaw
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