Thursday, November 19

guaiabero galore

i had such a horrible work week (not my classes but something else) last week, that i was itching to go somewhere far, far away from the office.  by some serendipitous event, lydia called for butterfly watching at subic (which of course is really birdwatching, especially since the dragontail season was at its tail end), and nestor kindly offered adri and me a ride.

because it was "butterfly-watching", we arrived at subic with the sun shining, but i was still surprised by the birdi-ness.  whiskered tree-swifts, woodpeckers, a pompadour green pigeon,a chinese goshawk, parrots (lots! colasisi, guaiabero, blue-naped and raquet-tail) dollarbirds, a serpent eagle, cuckoo-shrikes, ashy minivets, coletos, etc., etc. made for easy birding (again, i think that the label "butterfly-watching" contributed to this).

there were several tigbi (a type of fig) trees in fruit, and after a wonderful lunch with tina and wency, lydia, bob and cynthia, and nestor... we discovered one by our favorite after-lunch hangout.  the shrill calls of the guaiaberos constantly rang out inspite of it being mid-day.  there was even a female tarictic carefully hopping from branch to branch eating its fill of fruit. 

i love guaiaberos.  to me, they fall under the category "cute" (yes, right up there with the philippine falconet).  what's not to love? one, they are chunky, little balls which whiz past like green bullets.  two, they're parrots!  parrots have such personality! i love watching parrots (big or small) walking along branches, gingerly grabbing the branch with each foot while walking sideways or up. three, they are fascinated with their food. yup, whether munching on flowers or fruit, they can be be so engrossed with eating that they become oblivious to your presence.  four,  you may hear them, but you won't necessarily spot them. these little green balls literally melt into the foliage... don't take your eyes of them or it may be now-you-see-'em-now-you-don't. just the challenge which can keep you staring at a tree for hours.  which leads me to reason #5:  they could be kermit the frog singing "it's not easy being green".

(and... while frantically searching for noisy but-hard-to-see guaiaberos, what would fly out of the tree but a small flock of pompadour green pigeons. yes, green, big and also with invisibility powers.)

anyway, the couple of hours i spent staring at these almost-invisible birds were enough to give me my birding fix that would carry me through this work week.

(lala, if you're reading this... this is for you. parrots in subic always remind me of you now. ☺  thanks to adri for letting me use his new toy)


  1. nice! natuwa ako sa kwento mo.

    these green parrots are really cute but difficult to spot. :)

    dapat kumanta kanta tayo ng "its not easy being green" habang pinapanood natin itong mga ito. :)

  2. i love guaiaberos! tama nga, sila yung now you see them now you don't. para silang dahon, mangga at berdeng bala. :) i remember being so excited to see my first guaiabero, kasi nga - ang hirap makita, tapos ang weird pa nila. parang bitin na ibon kasi maikli ang buntot. cutie pie.

  3. guaiaberos!! yum yum yum! i mean, ganda ganda ganda! i love 'em too! mukha nga kasing manggang hilaw eh. hehe

  4. haha, oo nga kitty! green, fat manggang hilaw! yummm.

  5. weeee!!! :-D they're so cute! thanks, trinks! i love the way they "walk" along a branch--so slowly and quietly. was pointing one out to an american bird taxonomist over the weekend but i gave up in frustration since she couldn't see it until it flew away. hehe. sana sumama na lang kami sa butterfly-watching niyo. konti ng ibon sa makiling. pati huni mailan-ilan lang. pero madaming phil hawk-owl sa gabi :-)

  6. it's too bad we weren't able to stay any longer with you guys. na-miss tuloy namin ang mga guaiaberos. anyway, cynthia and i had so much fun birding with you (and adri, nestor, linda, lyds, tina and wency) and thank you for pointing out the birds to us "first-time" philippine birdwatchers. :-)

  7. dito sa tabi ng bahay namin may bayabas.....syempre maraming bunga...and diffinitely...laging may guaiabero dito sa my surprise...they're tame...i keep watching them like 4-5 ft away from me...very voracious nga lang sa bayabas...sila lang nakakaubos ng bunga dito ^__________^...

    1. San ang sa inyo inno? Wat province? Ansaya nman ng experience mo with guaiabero

  8. I agree with inno na they are friendly and hard to resist for their cuteness. Dati lagi ko lng naririnig ung boses nila sa bukid samen pero hindi ko nakikita. One time ung bantay nmin may nakuha na ibon na hindi makalipad for unknown reason (guaiabero pala) at dinala saken. Ang bait. Hindi takot sa tao at naglalaro sa kamay ko. Muka cia inakay plang at may sugat sa pakpak kaya pala hindi makalipad. I kept it on farm for weeks sa open door cage na hindi sya naalis. Antakaw nga lang. (Nakaka 3 saging sa isang araw) minsan bitin pa. Nang naka recover cia ay umaalis cia sa cage na. Pero nabalik pa din tuwing time ng pakain at nakikipag laro. But everything ends, after ng bagyo na dumating samen. After nia umalis, di na cia bumalik but still its a good memories with guaiabero