Taking cue from events like the famed Fraser’s Hill International Bird Race in Malaysia, Hong Kong’s Big Bird Race and the Singapore Bird Race, the ROX BIRD RACE CHALLENGE aims to draw
public attention to Metro Manila’s remaining green spaces and threatened wetlands, parks and grassland habitats, which racers will visit in order to record as many bird species possible within a 24-hour period.
“The WBCP expects an exciting race and good numbers of bird arrivals based on our initial surveys and bird counts,” says urban planner and Wild Bird Club of the Philippines vice president Anna Gonzales. Bird species recorded in Metro Manila numbers more than 100 species at this time of year, when migrants from mainland Asia and Japan stay the duration of the winter.
“Bird watching as a popular recreation is fairly new in the country,” according to Gonzales, who hopes the bird race will spark ideas about conserving the urban green areas of Metro Manila and “getting our kids high on outdoor activities and science.”
The ROX Bird Race Challenge is open to experienced bird watchers and new hobbyists, first-time adventure racers, outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers of all ages. Teams of 4 members each, consisting of 2 to 3 birdwatching hobbyists and at least one first-time birdwatcher, will be given a checklist of birds to tick off as spotted during the course of the race from 3:00 p.m of December 1 to 3:00 pm of December 2.
“We hope to provide the outdoor experience that will sustain the consciousness for the conservation of the environment,” according to Roel Chan, marketing manager of Primer Group, the firm managing ROX. “You can’t say let’s save the habitat when you haven’t seen the habitat. We want people to go out there and have that positive feeling when they come back from this race and get into positive action.”
To highlight the culmination of the race, ROX is holding a series of activities starting 2:00 pm December 2. A tent set-up along the promenade fronting Recreational Outdoor Exchange in Bonifacio High Street will host environmental exhibits, lectures, an activity corner where kids can practice art skills and enjoy face-painting and a wildlife conservation show featuring animals from the DENR Wildlife Rescue Center. These activities are open to the public free of charge.
Recreational Outdoor Exchange at Building 1, Bonifacio High Street, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig or call: 856-4638-39 or email the organizers at: Wild Bird Club of the Philippines, attention Michael Lu, email@example.com