Sunday, August 9

When school is out

With a new semester starting, the campus will be alive once more with the student population going about their daily routine. Having had an extended break because of the adjustment to a new school year (with the "summer" term moving to June - July and the first semester starting in August), the campus was pretty quiet for most of April and May with only the regular staff and the faculty coming to work.

With a few bird walks scheduled as a fun activity to fill in the student-free work load for the staff, we were quick to observe a few campus birds not regularly seen during the busy school year.

A family of Philippine Magpie Robins were regulars at an empty student parking lot near our office.  It was great to see this family of four every afternoon, with the young busy following their parents around.  They were an easy bird to point out to newbie birders, distinctive black and white birds flitting around actively the parking slots shaded by a couple of ficus trees.

Dad in a typical pose.

Mum in another typical pose.

One of the young ones looking at me curiously.

The young ones would often beg loudly for food.  When this was observed by one of my high school students on a summer internship, she exclaimed excitedly " It's shouting! It's shouting!"


Their beautiful melodious call was clearly heard in the relatively silent campus.  The parking lot was adjacent to an overgrown area where they presumably stayed most of the year when they would be reported as "heard but not seen".

I'm glad to have verified that the campus Magpie Robin population seems to be doing well and growing in number.

Aside from the Magpie Robins, a short observation at the ficus trees also gave good sightings of White-eared Brown Doves.

A quiet pair of endemic White-eared Brown Doves.

These endemic doves are usually very shy and skittish.  They are not common in the city, except in pockets of greenery.  This pair was calmly preening at a talisay tree behind the ficus, after having enjoyed a snack of ficus fruit.

In the afternoon, several Barred Rails could often be called calling, hidden in the long grass. With a few people around, a few ventured out into the open areas.

With a bit of patience, a brief  Barred Rail sighting in the grassy fields.

It's good to document these not-so-often-seen-birds-on-campus.  While I expect them to fall back into the "heard only" category now that school has started, I look forward to catching even brief glimpses every now and then.

In the meantime it's back to the regular campus birds...

The very common Zebra Dove.


  1. So cool to have White-eared Brown Doves on campus! =)

    1. I know! I've only seen one once before this time. They must be hiding out somewhere! :-)