Republic of the Philippines

Sulphur-billed Nuthatch Sitta oenochlamys ©Björn Anderson / iGoTerra Website
Birding the Philippines

With 7,100 islands stretching from the Malayan-Indonesian complex in the south to close to Taiwan in the north, sandwiched between the South China Sea and Pacific Ocean the Philippines is both a rewarding and difficult place to bird-watch. The processes of geography and evolution has left one of the highest degrees of endemism known in the world with some 172 species of birds only found within the archipelago. Add to those 8 species mainly found within the islands and a huge potential for further splits and one can see the attraction for birding here.As if the prospect of travelling through a myriad of islands of different sizes, shapes and forms each often with its own dialect and transportation and access problems was not enough, the element of human influence is also one of the highest in the world. Virtually anywhere in the country there are people, either settlers or native tribes, encroaching on remnants of habitat in each of the islands. This pressure can be so intense that within a season a whole area can vanish, taking with it what was possibly a large percentage of the remaining population of several species in one fell swoop. Hence many visiting birders are told – visit now before it is too late.

The list of non-endemics reaches around 300 species although this has been increasing each year as more people regularly bird-watch and more foreign tours visit the islands. It is important that trip reports be relayed to the recording body so that valuable data may be gathered to add to what is currently a largely word-of-mouth list of sightings and numbers. There are three generally recognized geographical regions – Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao, although for birdwatchers the area of Palawan is a 4th region that must be treated separately.

LuzonThe largest island with a limited number of associated islands off the north and east coasts, Luzon contain all the major habitats from mossy forest to marshlands. Due to logging there is extremely limited lowland forest left but within most mountainous areas small remnants of forest can be found. The island is relatively easy and safe to move around and with fairly good transportation links. There are a few birdwatching sites within or close to Metro Manila but most endemics are found scattered a day or two’s travel away.The VisayasThe belt of the Philippine archipelago, the Visayas consist of the majority of the islands. In ornithological terms there are two or three major areas – the Negros/Panay complex in the west, Cebu in the centre and the Bohol/Samar/Leyte group to the east, which have many shared species with Mindanao to the south. Environmental degradation in this region is extreme – especially in the east where several species are located in very small forest patches and some species may even be already extinct or in non-sustainable situations. Travel is again not difficult and the area is generally peaceful and easy to access. With most of the islands being small, travel time to sites is normally a day although there are no formal organised transportation links and most visitors use local guides.

MindanaoA large island close to Borneo, Mindanao is also all to often seen in the news or travel advisory lists as a place to avoid. Instability does occur but in general it is within certain areas and other regions are peaceful and the people receptive. With a host of endemics, and being the last holdout for the Philippine Eagle, one can see why most people still want to visit but areas are restricted and travel mainly must be done with prior organization or with extra days on hand to move about. PalawanSome of the easiest birding in the country and set in a truly tropical setting, Palawan is a favourite for anyone. With its own set of birds quite distinct to the rest of the country and a good set of migrants it makes a pleasant change from the hard work of the heavily trapped and bird-poor forests of the rest of the Philippines. Other wildlifeAs with other tropical countries the forests abound with insects and reptiles making a pleasant diversion while waiting to see a bird. Orchids are also abundant and as with the birds, endemism is also common across all the biological communities.

Weather & other considerationsAlthough Mindanao has a more equatorial climate to the northern areas in general the islands are governed by a dual season climate – wet (June-October) and dry (December – April). Temperatures are normally between 25-35 although the mountains can be cold at night in the early part of the year. Malaria remains in a very few areas but is not a major problem and other diseases are not significant. Most normal facilities (food, health care, airports etc.) are available within a day’s trek of any of the birding sites.Birding around ManilaWithin the city are two main sites that are easily accessible to a visitor; the American Memorial cemetery and the Libingan ng mga Bayani (or National Heroes cemetery). Both have a small selection of birds and are a good place to see passage migrants. Just to the south of Manila and about a 2 hour drive lies Mount Makiling which holds a good number of wet lowland forest endemics and is worth a visit at any time of year. Rather basic accommodation is available locally for those wanting an early start although many people do the site on a day-trip basis. Also 2 hours to the south lies a forested area known as Pico do Loro although a reference to Caylabne Bay or Puerto Azul (beach resorts) would be more likely to get you there. A dry lowland forest it has many shared species with Makiling and also a few others, which are not.RecordsPlease do feel free to contact the Wild Bird Club: inquiries@birdwatch.ph or see our Facebook Page: Wild Bird Club of the Philippines for any information – particularly regarding birding around Metro Manila. In addition we request all records and/or trip reports be sent to mccarthy@qinet.net in order to help build up our database.

Contributors
Number of Species
  • Number of bird species: 724

    (As at April 2020)

    National Bird: Pilippine (Monkey-eating) Eagle Pithecophaga jefferyi

Endemics
  • Number of endemics: 237

    106 Non-Passerines

    Philippine Duck Anas luzonica,
    Palawan Peacock-pheasant Polyplectron napoleonis,
    Mindoro Bleeding-heart Gallicolumba platenae,
    Negros Bleeding-heart Gallicolumba keayi,
    Sulu Bleeding-heart Gallicolumba menagei,
    Luzon Bleeding-heart Gallicolumba luzonica,
    Mindanao Bleeding-heart Gallicolumba crinigera,
    White-eared Brown-dove Phapitreron leucotis,
    Amethyst Brown-dove Phapitreron amethystinus,
    Mindanao Brown-dove Phapitreron brunneiceps,
    Tawitawi Brown-dove Phapitreron cinereiceps,
    Yellow-breasted Fruit-dove Ptilinopus occipitalis,
    Flame-breasted Fruit-dove Ptilinopus marchei,
    Cream-breasted Fruit-dove Ptilinopus merrilli,
    Black-chinned Fruit-dove Ptilinopus leclancheri,
    Negros Fruit-dove Ptilinopus arcanus,
    Pink-bellied Imperial-pigeon Ducula poliocephala,
    Mindoro Imperial-pigeon Ducula mindorensis,
    Spotted Imperial-pigeon Ducula carola,
    Rufous Coucal Centropus unirufus,
    Black-faced Coucal Centropus melanops,
    Black-hooded Coucal Centropus steerii
    Philippine Coucal Centropus viridis,
    Red-crested Malkoha Dasylophus superciliosus,
    Scale-feathered Malkoha Lepidogrammus cumingi,
    Philippine Drongo-cuckoo Surniculus velutinus,
    Philippine Hawk-cuckoo Hierococcyx pectoralis,
    Philippine Frogmouth Batrachostomus septimus,
    Palawan Frogmouth Batrachostomus chaseni,
    Philippine Nightjar Caprimulgus manillensis,
    Philippine Spinetailed Swift Mearnsia picina,
    Pygmy Swiftlet Collocalia troglodytes,
    Philippine Swiftlet Aerodramus mearnsi,
    Whitehead's Swiftlet Aerodramus whiteheadi,
    Luzon Rail Lewinia mirifica,
    Calayan Rail Gallirallus calayanensis,
    Philippine Swamphen Porphyrio pulverulentus,
    Philippine Bush-hen Amaurornis olivacea,
    Bukidnon Woodcock Scolopax bukidnonensis,
    Spotted Buttonquail Turnix ocellatus,
    Luzon Buttonquail Turnix worcesteri,
    Philippine Honey-buzzard Pernis steerei,
    Philippine Serpent-eagle Spilornis holospilus,
    Philippine Eagle Pithecophaga jefferyi,
    Philippine Hawk-eagle Nisaetus philippensis,
    Pinsker’s Hawk-eagle Nisaetus pinskeri,
    Giant Scops-owl Otus gurneyi,
    Palawan Scops-owl Otus fuliginosus,
    Philippine Scops-owl Otus megalotis,
    Everett’s Scops-owl Otus everetti,
    Negros Scops-owl Otus nigrorum,
    Mindoro Scops-owl Otus mindorensis,
    Mantanani Scops-owl Otus mantananensis,
    Mindanao Scops-owl Otus mirus,
    Luzon Scops-owl Otus longicornis,
    Philippine Eagle-owl Bubo philippensis,
    Chocolate Boobook Ninox randi,
    Mindanao Boobook Ninox spilocephala,
    Mindoro Boobook Ninox mindorensis,
    Romblon Boobook Ninox spilonotus,
    Cebu Boobook Ninox rumseyi,
    Camiguin Boobook Ninox leventisi,
    Sulu Boobook Ninox reyi,
    Philippine Trogon Harpactes ardens,
    Rufous Hornbill Buceros hydrocorax,
    Sulu Hornbill Anthracoceros montani,
    Palawan Hornbill Anthracoceros marchei,
    Writhe-billed Hornbill Rhabdotorrhinus waldeni,
    Writhed Hornbill Rhabdotorrhinus leucocephalus,
    Visayan Hornbill Penelopides panini,
    Luzon Hornbill Penelopides manillae,
    Mindoro Hornbill Penelopides mindorensis,
    Samar Hornbill Penelopides samarensis,
    Mindanao Hornbill Penelopides affinis,
    Indigo-banded Kingfisher Ceyx cyanopectus,
    Northern Silvery Kingfisher Ceyx flumenicola,
    Southern Silvery Kingfisher Ceyx argentatus,
    Philippine Dwarf-kingfisher Ceyx melanurus,
    Dimorphic Dwarf-kingfisher Ceyx margarethae,
    Brown-breasted Kingfisher Halcyon gularis,
    Rufous-lored Kingfisher Todiramphus winchelli,
    Spotted Kingfisher Actenoides lindsayi,
    Blue-capped Kingfisher Actenoides hombroni,
    Blue-capped Kingfisher Actenoides hombroni,
    Philippine Woodpecker Yungipicus maculatus,
    Sulu Woodpecker Yungipicus ramsayi,
    Luzon Flameback Chrysocolaptes haematribon,
    Yellow-faced Flameback Chrysocolaptes xanthocephalus,
    Buff-spotted Flameback Chrysocolaptes lucidus,
    Red-headed Flameback Chrysocolaptes erythrocephalus,
    Spot-throated Flameback Dinopium everetti,
    Northern Sooty Woodpecker Mulleripicus funebris,
    Southern Sooty Woodpecker Mulleripicus fuliginosus,
    Philippine Falconet Microhierax erythrogenys,
    Philippine Cockatoo Cacatua haematuropygia,
    Mindanao Racquet-tail Prioniturus waterstradti,
    Luzon Racquet-tail Prioniturus montanus,
    Blue-headed Racquet-tail Prioniturus platenae,
    Mindoro Racquet-tail Prioniturus mindorensis,
    Blue-winged Racquet-tail Prioniturus verticalis,
    Green Racquet-tail Prioniturus luconensis,
    Blue-crowned Racquet-tail Prioniturus discurus,
    Guaiabero Bolbopsittacus lunulatus,
    Mindanao Lorikeet Trichoglossus johnstoniae,
    Philippine Hanging-parrot Loriculus philippensis,
    Camiguin Hanging-parrot Loriculus camiguinensis

    131 Passerines
    Wattled Broadbill
    Sarcophanops steerii,
    Visayan Broadbill Sarcophanops samarensis,
    Whiskered Pitta Erythropitta kochi,
    Blue-breasted Pitta Erythropitta erythrogaster,
    Azure-breasted Pitta Pitta steerii,
    McGregor's Cuckooshrike Malindangia mcgregori,
    Black-and-white Triller Lalage melanoleuca,
    Blackish Cuckooshrike Analisoma coerulescens,
    White-winged Cuckooshrike Analisoma ostenta,
    Black-bibbed Cuckooshrike Analisoma mindanense,
    Yellow-bellied Whistler Pachycephala philippinensis,
    Green-backed Whistler Pachycephala albiventris,
    White-vented Whistler Pachycephala homeyeri,
    White-lored Oriole Oriolus albiloris,
    Philippine Oriole Oriolus steerii,
    Isabela Oriole Oriolus isabellae,
    Black-and-cinnamon Fantail Rhipidura nigrocinnamomea,
    Visayan Blue Fantail Rhipidura samarensis,
    Tablas Fantail Rhipidura sauli,
    Visayan Fantail Rhipidura albiventris,
    Blue-headed Fantail Rhipidura cyaniceps,
    Philippine Pied Fantail Rhipidura nigritorquis,
    Balicassiao Dicrurus balicassius,
    Tablas Drongo Dicrurus menagei,
    Short-crested Monarch Hypothymis helenae,
    Celestial Monarch Hypothymis coelestis,
    Blue Paradise-flycatcher Terpsiphone cyanescens,
    Grey-capped Shrike Lanius validirostris,
    Elegant Tit Pardaliparus elegans,
    Palawan Tit Pardaliparus amabilis,
    White-fronted Tit Sittiparus semilarvatus,
    Leyte Plumed-warbler Micromacronus leytensis,
    Mindanao Plumed-warbler Micromacronus sordidus,
    Rufous-fronted Tailorbird Orthotomus frontalis,
    Visayan Tailorbird Orthotomus castaneiceps,
    Grey-backed Tailorbird Orthotomus derbianus,
    Green-backed Tailorbird Orthotomus chloronotus,
    Yellow-breasted Tailorbird Orthotomus samarensis,
    White-browed Tailorbird Orthotomus nigriceps,
    White-eared Tailorbird Orthotomus cinereiceps,
    Sierra Madre Ground-warbler Robsonius thompsoni,
    Long-tailed Bush Warbler Locustella caudatus,
    Benguet Bush Warbler Locustella seebohmi,
    Yellow-wattled Bulbul Brachypodius urostictus,
    Ashy-fronted Bulbul Pycnonotus cinereifrons,
    Grey-throated Bulbul Alophoixus frater,
    Sulphur-bellied Bulbul Iole palawanensis,
    Visayan Bulbul Hypsipetes guimarasensis,
    Zamboanga Bulbul Hypsipetes rufigularis,
    Yellowish Bulbul Hypsipetes everetti,
    Mindoro Bulbul Hypsipetes mindorensis,
    Streak-breasted Bulbul Hypsipetes siquijorensis,
    Lemon-throated Leaf-warbler Phylloscopus cebuensis,
    Philippine Leaf-warbler Phylloscopus olivaceus,
    Rufous-headed Tailoerbird Phyllorgates heterolaemus,
    Philippine Bush-warbler Horornis seebohmi,
    Chestnut-faced Babbler Zosterornis whiteheadi,
    Luzon Striped Babbler Zosterornis striatus,
    Panay Striped Babbler Zosterornis latistriatus,
    Negros Striped Babbler Zosterornis nigrorum,
    Palawan Striped Babbler Zosterornis hypogrammicus,
    Mindanao White-eye Lophozosterops goodfellowi,
    Golden-crowned Babbler Sterrhoptilus dennistouni,
    Black-crowned Babbler Sterrhoptilus nigrocapitatus,
    Rusty-crowned Babbler Sterrhoptilus capitalis,
    Flame-templed Babbler Dasycrotapha speciose,
    Visayan Pygmy Babbler Dasycrotapha pygmaea,,
    Mindanao Pygmy Babbler Dasycrotapha plateni,
    Lowland White-eye Zosterops meyeni,
    Yellowish White-eye Zosterops nigrorum,
    Brown Tit-babbler Macronus striaticeps,
    Palawan Babbler Malacopteron palawanense,
    Ashy-headed Babbler Malacocincla cinereiceps,
    Striated Wren-babbler Ptilocichla mindanensis,
    Falcated Wren-babbler Ptilocichla falcata,
    Sulphur-billed Nuthatch Sitta oenochlamys,
    Stripe-headed Rhabdornis Rhabdornis mystacalis,
    Long-billed Rhabdornis Rhabdornis grandis,
    Visayan Rhabdornis Rhabdornis rabori,
    Apo Myna Goodfellowia miranda,
    Coleto Sarcops calvus,
    Ashy Thrush Geokichla cinereal,
    Ashy-breasted Flycatcher Muscicapa randi,
    Philippine Magpie-robin Copsychus mindanensis,
    White-browed Shama Copsychus luzoniensis,
    Visayan Shama Copsychus superciliaris,
    White-vented Shama Copsychus nigra,
    Black Shama Copsychus cebuensis,
    Blue-breasted Flycatcher Cyornis herioti,
    Palawan Blue Flycatcher Cyornis lemprieri,
    Bagobo Robin Leonardina woodi,
    Rusty-flanked Jungle-flycatcher Vauriella insignis,
    Negros Jungle-flycatcher Vauriella albigularis,
    Mindanao Jungle-flycatcher Vauriella goodfellowi,
    Palawan Flycatcher Ficedula platenae,
    Furtive Flycatcher Ficedula disposita,
    Little Slaty Flycatcher Ficedula basilanica,
    Cryptic Flycatcher Ficedula crypta,
    Bundock Flycatcher Ficedula luzoniensis,
    Luzon Redstart Phoenicurus bicolor,
    Olive-backed Flowerpecker Prionochilus olivaceus,
    Palawan Flowerpecker Prionochilus plateni,
    Whiskered Flowerpecker Dicaeum proprium,
    Olive-capped Flowerpecker Dicaeum nigrilore,
    Flame-crowned Flowerpecker Dicaeum anthonyi,
    Bicoloured Flowerpecker Dicaeum bicolor,
    Cebu Flowerpecker Dicaeum quadricolor,
    Red-keeled Flowerpecker Dicaeum australe,
    Black-belted Flowerpecker Dicaeum haematostictum,
    Scarlet-collared Flowerpecker Dicaeum retrocinctum,
    White-bellied Flowerpecker Dicaeum hypoleucum,
    Pygmy Flowerpecker Dicaeum pygmaeum,
    Purple-throated Sunbird Leptocoma sperata,
    Lovely Sunbird Aethopyga shelleyi,
    Magnificent Sunbird Aethopyga magnifica,
    Handsome Sunbird Aethopyga bella,
    Metallic-winged Sunbird Aethopyga pulcherrima,
    Mountain Sunbird Aethopyga jefferyi,
    Bohol Sunbird Aethopyga decorosa,
    Lina's Sunbird Aethopyga linaraborae,
    Grey-hooded Sunbird Aethopyga primigenia,
    Tboli Sunbird Aethopyga tibolii,
    Pale Spiderhunter Arachnothera dilutior,
    Naked-faced Spiderhunter Arachnothera clarae,
    Philippine Fairy-bluebird Irena cyanogastra,
    Philippine Leafbird Chloropsis flavipennis,
    Yellow-throated Leafbird Chloropsis palawanensis,
    Green-faced Parrotfinch Erythrura viridifacies,
    Red-eared Parrotfinch Erythrura coloria,
    Cinnamon Ibon Hypocryptadius cinnamomeus,
    White-cheeked Bullfinch Pyrrhula leucogenis

Checklist

  • iGoTerra Checklist

    iGoTerra Checklist
    Fatbirder Associate iGoTerra offers the most comprehensive and up to date birds lists on the web
Useful Reading

  • A Guide to the Birds of the Philippines

    | By Robert S Kennedy, Pedro C. Gonzales, Edward C Dickinson, Hector C Miranda Jr & Timothy H Fisher | Oxford University Press | 2000 | Paperback | 368 pages, 72 colour plates, colour maps | ISBN: 9780198546689 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • A Naturalist's Guide to the Birds of the Philippines

    | By Maia Tañedo, Adrian Constantino, Trinket Constantino & Robert Hutchinson | John Beaufoy Books | 2018 | Edition 2 | Paperback | 176 pages, ~300 colour photos, 2 colour maps | ISBN: 9781912081530 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • A Photographic Guide to the Birds of Southeast Asia

    | (Including the Philippines & Borneo) | By Morten Strange | Periplus Editions | 2014 | Paperback | 398 pages, colour photos, colour distribution maps | ISBN: 9780804844512 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • A Photographic Guide to the Birds of the Philippines

    | By Tim Fisher & Nigel Hicks | New Holland Publishers | 2000 | Paperback | 141 pages, 240 colour photos | ISBN: 9781859745106 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Birds of South-East Asia

    | By Craig Robson | Christopher Helm | 2014 | Edition 2 | Paperback | 544 pages, 120 plates with 3600+ colour illustrations; 3 b/w illustrations, 1 colour & 1 b/w map | ISBN: 9781472916693 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Birds of the Philippines, Sumatra, Java, Bali, Borneo, Sulawesi, the Lesser Sundas and the Moluccas

    | By Norman Arlott | William Collins (Harper Collins imprint) | 2018 | Hardback | 416 pages, 179 plates with colour illustrations; colour distribution maps | ISBN: 9780008102395 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • The 125 Best Bird Watching Sites in Southeast Asia

    | Edited by Yong Ding Li & Low Bing Wen | John Beaufoy Books | Edition 2 | 2018 | 404 pages, colour photos, colour maps | ISBN: 9781912081523 Buy this book from NHBS.com
Organisations
  • Birdwatch Philippines

    Facebook Page
    …the official website of the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines. Our group of enthusiastic amateurs welcome you to enjoy the wonderful avifauna of the Philippines. Checkout our trip reports, and ever-growing list and gallery of resident and migratory birds. email inquiries@birdwatch.ph
  • Jeepney Projects

    Website
    We
  • The Haribon Foundation

    Website
    9A Malingap Cot, Malumanay Streets, Teachers Village, 1101 Diliman, Quezon City. +63 2 4362756 birdlife@haribon.org.ph About Haribon Foundation Our Vision: Haribon's vision is sustainable development for the Philippines. This means creatively ensuring that the needs for the present are met without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. (From the World Commission on Environment & Development) Addressing poverty, Haribon envisions the need for management of natural resources to be community-based, socially equitable and scientifically sound. Haribon's vision is life-cantered, nature-promoting and pro-Filipino.
Reserves

Abbreviations Key

  • BR Palawan Biosphere Reserve

    InformationSatellite View
    Palawan Biosphere Reserve is an island slash of mountain and tropical rain forest filled with rare and interesting birds and four-footed wildlife, bordered by white sand beaches, ringed by coral reefs some 120 miles (190 km) west of the main Philippines group between the Sulu and China Seas. Isolation has helped maintain its largely pristine state, though with discovery of valuable woods and mineral deposits of chrome, copper, manganese, nickel, as well as oil and gas, it is uncertain how long this will last…
  • BS IBA Candaba Swamp

    InformationSatellite View
    Candaba Swamp is located in the Candaba, Pampanga municipality, 60 km northeast of Manila in the Philippines. It encompasses about 32,000 ha, made of freshwater ponds, swamps and marshes surrounded by seasonally flooded grasslands. The entire area becomes submerged underwater during the wet season. It dries out during the months of November to April.
  • BS WII IBA Olango Island Group

    InformationSatellite View
    The Olango Island Group is a group of islands found in the Central Visayas region of the Philippines and is a part of Cebu Province. It comprises Olango island and 6 satellite islets namely: Sulpa, Gilutongan, Nalusuan, Caohagan, Pangan-an, and Camungi. The entire area is the first declared Ramsar Wetland Site in the Philippines. Olango Island, situated off Mactan Island in Cebu, is one of the seven best-known flyways in the world for migrating birds. Its main attraction is its 920-hectare Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary, a haven for migratory birds from Siberia, Northern China, and Japan. These birds flock to the island seeking refuge from the winter climate of other countries. The sanctuary supports the largest concentration of migratory birds found so far in the Philippines. There are 97 species of birds in Olango, 48 of which are migratory species, while the rest are resident birds of the island.
  • NP Quezon

    InformationSatellite View
    The parks has a total area of 535.08 hectares (1,322.2 acres) and was named as Quezon National Park. The park was enlarged to 983 hectares (2,430 acres). Some of the species in the park are the monitor lizard, monkey, deer, wild pig, parrot, dove, pigeon, jungle fowl (manok labuyo), yellow bittern, cinnamon bittern, buff-banded rail, barred rail, white-browed crake, marsh sandpiper, long-toed stint, Swinhoe's snipe, striated grassbird, rufous hornbill, Luzon hornbill, pink-bellied imperial pigeon, guaiabero, colasisi, blackish cuckooshrike, flaming sunbird and flowerpecker.
  • NP Rajah Sikatuna

    InformationSatellite View
    The Rajah Sikatuna Protected Landscape is a protected landscape area of forested limestone hills, grasslands and natural springs in the island province of Bohol in the Central Visayas region of the Philippines. It is the largest remaining tract of natural forest in Bohol and one of the Philippines' top birdwatching sites. The Rajah Sikatuna Protected Landscape is an important bird area being home to over 120 bird species, many of which are endemic to the Philippines, which include the endangered streaked reed warbler and Philippine cockatoo, as well as the Philippine hawk-eagle, Visayan broadbill, Samar hornbill, Mindanao bleeding-heart, Philippine eagle-owl, Philippine oriole, Philippine frogmouth, azure-breasted pitta, rufous-tailed jungle flycatcher, rufous-lored kingfisher, southern silvery kingfisher, yellow-breasted tailorbird, yellow-bellied whistler, black-crowned babbler, Philippine hanging parrot, Philippine fairy-bluebird, Philippine trogon and Philippine leaf warbler
  • NP Samar Island Natural Park

    InformationSatellite View
    The Samar Island Natural Park, in Samar, is the largest contiguous tract of old-growth forest in the Philippines. It is the country's largest terrestrial protected area, with an area of 333,300 hectares (824,000 acres). The park is a known habitat of the Philippine eagle. It also has a significant population of the Philippine eagle-owl, Philippine tarsier, Philippine flying lemur and Philippine tree squirrel.
  • WS Agusan Marsh

    InformationSatellite View
    The marshland acts like a sponge, as it is nestled in the midwaters of the Agusan River drainage basin. Within its lakes, several floating communities can be found. The sanctuary was home to the 20.24 feet (6.17 meter) saltwater crocodile Lolong, the world's largest captive crocodile. Over 200 individual species have been known to spend at least part of the year in the marsh, making it one of Asia's most important transit points for wild birds.
  • WS Mount Calavite

    InformationSatellite View
    The mountain overlooks the municipality of Paluan in the south and the Lubang Island group in the Verde Island Passage in the north. It is one of only three areas in the island where Mindoro dwarf buffalos, commonly known as tamaraws, are found. Other wildlife known to inhabit the park include endemic bird species such as the Mindoro bleeding-heart, Mindoro hornbill, spotted imperial pigeon and scarlet-collared flowerpecker.
  • WS Mount Hamiguitan

    InformationSatellite View
    Mount Hamiguitan is a mountain located in the province of Davao Oriental, Philippines. It has a height of 1,620 metres (5,315 ft). The mountain and its vicinity has one of the most diverse wildlife populations in the country. Among the wildlife found in the area are Philippine eagles and several species of Nepenthes. Some of the latter, such as the Nepenthes peltata, are endemic to the area. It is good for Tawitawi brown-dove (Phapitreron cinereiceps), Tarictic hornbill (Penelopides panini), Grey-hooded sunbird (Aethopyga primigenius) & Giant scops-owl or Mindanao eagle-owl (Mimizuku gurneyi)
  • WS Rasa Island

    InformationSatellite View
    Rasa Island is a flat coral island in the Sulu Sea just off the coast of the municipality of Narra in Palawan, Philippines. It is a shallow island surrounded by mangroves and tidal flats containing one of the country's last remaining coastal forests. The island is home to the largest population of the endemic and critically endangered Philippine cockatoo in the wild in the Philippines and is also known as the red-vented cockatoo, a parrot species endemic to the Philippines.
  • Wetlands

    WebsiteSatellite View
    The Philippines currently has 7 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Sites), with a surface area of 244,017 hectares.
Forums & Mailing Lists
  • Philippine Bird Photography Forums

    Forum
    Philippine Bird Photography Forums
Guides & Tour Operators


Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

  • Birding Adventure Philippines

    Tour Operator
    Birding tours anywhere in the Philippines
  • Birding Ecotours

    Tour Operator
    The Philippine Archipelago (more commonly known simply as the Philippines) is a remarkable collection of over 7000 individual islands. From a birding point of view, it uniquely combines influences from tropical south-east Asia and the more temperate parts of the continent (Japan, China and Korea). However, about a third of the birds are endemic, including some of the most spectacular species on the planet. Philippine (Monkey-eating) Eagle is the largest eagle on earth, and is reason enough for most wildlife enthusiasts to visit this island nation.
  • Birdtour Asia

    Tour Operator
    Birdtour Asia are the specialists in Asian birding tours, offering the best in organised and tailor-made custom tours throughout the region. We offer you the best possible bird-tour experience through a combination of the most experienced and knowledgeable leaders in the region, small group sizes, a friendly and relaxed atmosphere, and of course some of the finest birding in the world.
  • Endemic Pursuit Tours

    Tour Operator
    I specialise in guided bird watching trips to the various islands of the Philippines with special emphasis on finding the endemic species some of which are now very rare
  • Rockjumper Birding Tours

    Tour Operator
    Our Endangered Endemics birding tour explores the Philippines’ three largest islands and covers the best of the remaining habitats in our attempts to find some of the world’s most spectacular and threatened birds.
Trip Reports


Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

  • 2013 [02 February] - Stijn De Win

    Report
    …There’re 2 good and easy birding sites to visit near Davao, I did focus on a site called ‘Barangay Eden’ in the foothills of the majestic Mt. Apo, as this is the best place in Philippines to connect with the rare and localized Whiskered Flowerpecker. Besides numerous sightings of this the site did hold many of the same Mindanao mountain specialities also found on Kitanglad…
  • 2013 [03 March] - Dave Stejskal & Mark Villa

    Report
    …Others that got our attention on the islands were that close Palawan Scops-Owl and Javan Frogmouth, confiding Tabon Scrubfowl, the small group of endangered Philippine Cockatoos headed to roost, our timely group of Palawan Hornbills, stunning Blue Paradise-Flycatcher, and a very cooperative Falcated Wren-Babbler, to mention just a few…
  • 2013 [03 March] - David Marques - Luzon & Palawan

    PDF Report
    …The forest along the road looks great and although we did not get the Palawan Flycatcher in the heat of the mid-day, it must be around there. The Melodious Babbler was more responsive to tape, but a hard skulker….
  • 2013 [04 April] - Arjan Brenkman & Jan van der Laan

    PDF Report
    …Other species we saw where Chinese Sparrow-Hawk, Asia Koel, Blue-naped Parrot, White-lored Oriole, Philippine Serpent-Eagle, Philippine Pygmy Woodpecker, Kamchatka Leaf Warbler, Japanese Leaf Warbler (both splits from Arctic Warbler), Spotted Wood-Kingfisher, White-breasted Kingfisher, Red Junglefowl, Rufous-headed Bee-eater, Oriental Dollarbird, Whiskered Treeswift, Brahminy Kite, Blue Rock-Thrush, Crested Myna, a distant Roseate (or Black- naped?) Tern, Philippine Falconet, Rufous Coucal, Philippine Green-Pigeon, Luzon Flameback, Guiabero, Colasisi, Barred Rail, Plain Bush-Hen, Emerald Dove, Green Imperial Pigeon, Luzon Hornbill, Scale-feathered & Rough-crested Malkoha, Philippine Hawk-Cuckoo, White-breasted Treeswallow, Amethyst Brown-Dove, Blackish Cuckoo-Shrike…
  • 2013 [09 September] - Charles Harper

    Report
    …Also, we were not able to visit private Pandan Island (in Honda Bay off Puerto Princesa) for its islet specialties: an unscrupulous foreign birding guide had shaken the tree holding the Mantanani Scops Owl, so the island's owner has forbidden access to future birders for the present….
  • 2013 [12 December] - Jim Holmes

    Report
    Brief
  • 2013 [12 December] - Jim Holmes - Palawan

    Report
    Brief
  • 2014 [02 February] - Chris Chafer - Palawan, Bohol, Cebu & C Luzon

    Report
    …Started walking just after dawn with some great birds including Spotted Wood Kingfisher, Red-bellied Pitta, Hooded Pitta, White-eared Brown-Dove, Bared Rail, Ashy Thrush, Striated Grassbird, Philippine Tailorbird, Golden-bellied Gerygone, Mangrove Blue Flycatcher and Lowland White-eye. Next was University of Philippines Dillman where we added Philippine Nightjar, White-browed Crake, Glossy Swiftlet, Pygmy Swiftlet, Philippine Woodpecker, Chestnut Munia and White-browed Crake. Late transfer to Mt. Makiling south of Manila where we stayed at TREES Hotel (basic but comfortable). Not a bad start to the trip…
  • 2014 [02 February] - Stijn De Win - Luzon, Bohol, Cebu and Mindanao

    Report
    …Spotted Wood Kingfisher had been calling at dusk but the daylight was going fast and so we started the next day in the same spot for the same Kingfisher. It proved fruitful and everyone had good views of the Spotted Kingfisher within a couple minutes…
  • 2014 [07 July] - Birding2Asia - Lake Dano

    Report
    ...Intact forest at Lake Danao was visited on 3 occasions in 2011 and 4 times in 2012. Sightings other than stuff mentioned above include; Silvery Kingfisher, Philippine Duck, Philippine Woodpecker, Elegant Tit, Sulphur-billed Nuthatch, Buzzing Flowerpecker, Pygmy Flowerpecker, Visayan Pygmy Babbler, Philippine Leaf Warbler, Philippine Drongo Cuckoo, Purple Needletail, Philippine Needletail, Citrine Flycatcher, Rufous-tailed Jungle-Flycatcher, White-eared Brown Dove, Philippine Serpent Eagle, Samar Hornbill, Rufous-fronted Tailorbird, Black-faced Coucal, Red-bellied Pitta and Yellow-breasted Fruit-Dove....
  • 2014 [07 July] - Oscar Campbell - Luzon, Bohol, Cebu & Palawan

    PDF Report
    ...The nucleus of these comprised Mountain and, especially, Yellowish White-eyes,soon followed by Sulphur-billed Nuthatch and Blue-headed Fantail. The elevated viewpoint is handy forflowerpeckers with Bicolored and, especially, Buzzing rather frequent. Also quite easy are Citrine Canary-Flycatcher,Black-naped Monarch, Lemon-throated Leaf-Warbler, Elegant Tit and Balicassio whilst Pygmy Swiftlets are whizzingabout everywhere...
  • 2015 [01 January] - Ralf Jahraus - Luzon and Mindoro

    PDF Report
    This report is based on an 11 weeks trip to Thailand, Laos and the Philippines on which I was joined by my girlfriend Thai Kong. We travelled 4 weeks by public transport on Luzon and Mindoro and visited the following sites for bird watching: Subic Bay, Candaba Marsh, Banaue (Mt. Polis), Los Banos (Mt. Makiling) and Siburan Forest. It was not just a birding holiday, for we enjoyed some spectacular landscapes or a few days on the beach as well.
  • 2015 [03 March] - Stijn De Win & Pete Simpson - Luzon, Bohol, Cebu, Palawan, Mindanao and Negros

    Report
    ...The Indigo-banded Kingfisher in the park did only show for the tour leader nah. Skittish individual. Good the birds at Makiling performed for both our groups, at the river in the botanical garden.
  • 2015 [07 July] - Oscar Campbell

    PDF Report
    ...This is also a good place to get to grips with Philippine Magpie-Robin, Lowland White-eye and Golden-belliedGerygone (latter two both very scarce away from metro Manila), Philippine Pygmy Woodpecker etc. amongst others.
  • 2016 [04 April] - Charles Davies - Sibaliw Research Station, Panay

    Report
    Sibaliw Research Station is bang in the middle of the Northwest Panay Peninsula National Park, probably the largest lowland forest patch on Negros and Panay. It’s the place for Negros Bleeding-heart and some other difficult Western Visayan endemics.
  • 2016 [05 May] - Forrest Rowland - Endemics & Visayan Islands

    PDF Report
    ...We started at a patch of mangroves near the airport where our first birds included our first Philippine Pied Fantails and the aurora subspecies of Olive-backed Sunbird. In the scrub we saw: our first Ashy-fronted Bulbuls, Collared Kingfisher, Rufous-tailed Tailorbird, and Pied Trillers...
  • 2016 [06 June] - Ross & Melissa Gallardy - Palawan, Cebu, Negros, Bohol, and Mindanao

    PDF Report
    ...Most people suggest at least 4-4 ½ days for Palawan to see all the endemics (except Palawan Stripped Babbler), although most spend a few days extra as well. We had an extremely condensed itinerary that should have allowed us to get everything (all endemics plus the Honda Bay specialties), but Palawan Hornbill thought otherwise...
  • 2016 [11 November] - Petri Hottola - La Mesa Ecopark, Manila

    PDF Report
    ...The spot has open, exposed mud along the stream and semi-open undergrowth. Unfortunately, atthe time of my visit, somebody had also made a camp right next to it, with a fire, and was cutting firewood there. His chickens (many) had also occupied the habitat which has been favored by thethrushes, Slaty-legged Crakes and Red-bellied and Hooded Pittas...
  • 2017 [02 February] - Bruce Wedderburn - Luzon, Palawan, Cebu, Negros, Siquijor, Bohol & Mindanao

    Report
    ...Even though it was getting warm in the late morning, this area produced some excellent birds including Grey-headed Fish Eagle, Coleto, Green Racket-tail (only bird seen on the trip and a key target for the Subic Bay area), Balicassiao, Philippine Fairy-bluebird, Rough-crested Malkoha, Whiskered Treeswift, Oriental Dollarbird and many Philippine Bulbul....
  • 2017 [02 February] - Dani Lopez-Velasco - Ultimate Philippines

    PDF Report
    This year´s Birdquest “Ultimate Philippines” tour comprised of the main tour and two post-tour extensions, resulting in a five-week endemics bonanza.
  • 2017 [03 March] - Charley Hesse

    PDF Report
    ... In the late afternoon we did some birding along the roadwhich was very productive, and we saw 3 enormous Great Slaty Woodpeckers vocalizing in a tree, plus BlueheadedRacquet-tail, Blue-naped Parrot, Ashy Drongo, Common Hill Myna, Purple-throated Sunbird, plusthe Palawan endemic Palawan Tit, Ashy-fronted & Gray-throated Bulbuls....
  • 2017 [03 March] - Rob Gordijn & Helen Rijkes - Luzon & Palawan

    PDF Report
    ...Activity was very slow during the day and we found no birds here that we did not see elsewhere (Ashy-headed babbler, Palawan Flowerpecker and HO Palawan Hornbill). The owling session gave us a close-by calling Palawan Frogmouth, HO Spotted Wood-owl and a fly-by sighting of Palawan Scops-owl....
  • 2017 [06 June] - Ross & Melissa Gallardy

    PDF Report
    The main areas visited were Panay, Tablas, and the immediate vicinity aroundManila. Since this trip was very target focused, we only managed to find 134 species, but that included a number of difficultisland endemics that are typically not seen on most trips to the Philippines. Most of the trip was done by public transportation,but we did rent a vehicle for 2 days around the Manila area. Overall cost for two people was $1,163 including two internalflights, one ferry, and a rental car for 3 days. This report covers our trip to Panay and Tablas. I am not including any details onLuzon since there is ample information available on birding Luzon.
  • 2018 [03 March] - Mike Nelson

    PDF Report
    The Philippines is spread over 7,000 islands and with high levels of endemism, 250 endemics and rising, along with a swath of northern wintering migrants this makes for a very desirable tour. With fine weather this year, we started on Luzon, driving north via Candaba Marshes picking up Philippine Swamphen and Philippine Duck. On to Mount Polis next with our first foray into the huge array of endemics with Luzon Metallic-winged Sunbird, Luzon Blue-headed Fantail, Chestnut-faced Babbler, Luzon Bush Warbler, Benguet Bush Warbler and Luzon Long-tailed Bush Warbler and Philippine Scops Owl.
  • 2018 [03 March] - Pete Simpson

    PDF Report
    The Philippines archipelago is vast with over 7000 islands and among them many need to be visited to get anywhere close to seeing all the recognised endemics, a number which itself is ever increasing due to taxonomic progress. This return tour pulled in several new islands for all participants, plus some new sites that have recently been discovered, and a couple of surprise wintering megas.
  • 2018 [04 April] - Mike Nelson - Luzon, Mindoro, Bohol, Camiguin, Cebu, Negros & Tablas

    PDF Report
    The Philippines are well known for its long and ever-increasing list of endemics, with some of the less visited islands are now home to many of the newly split species. Our Remote Philippines trip was geared to see as many of these as possible. Visiting seven islands meant a lot of travel but the list of species made it very worthwhile. We started out on Luzon for a days birding at a local hotspot we recently discovered, for Whiskered Pitta, Creambellied and Flame-breasted Fruit Doves.
  • 2018 [04 April] - Rob Hutchinson - Sierra Madre, Samar & Negros

    PDF Report
    The trip was very much focused on the few target birds but we nevertheless bumped into a fair number of other Philippine endemics, finishing with an endemic tally of 91 out of a total of 149 species (meaning a remarkable 60% of the birds we recorded were endemic!), with 10 of those heard only.
  • 2018 [06 June] - Catherine McFadden

    Report
    Plans to attend an international conference being held in Cebu City in June 2018 offered me the opportunity to do some birding in the Visayas, the central group of islands in the Philippines.
  • 2018 [11 Nov] - Matthew Kwan - Palwan & Luzon

    Report
    Ever since I laid eyes on a photo of the Palawan Peacock Pheasant, this amazing looking species had became my nemesis bird, securing itself on the very top of my 'Most Wanted' list. It’s supposedly “easy”, with a long staying male at the Puerto Princesa Underground River warden’s post....
  • 2018 [12 December] - Pete Simpson - Mindanao

    PDF Report
    ...Pre-dawn owling started inside the resort, though with no sound from the resident Giant Scops Owl and only a briefcall from a disinterested Everett's Scops Owl. There were more target birds in the Eden area but such was ourconfidence in their reliability we would spend much of this day on a trip to Mount Apo proper at 1400m. Arriving in the morning we stepped out of the car straight in to a mixed flock; Elegant Tit, Mountain White-eye, Sulphur-billed Nuthatch and Philippine Mountain Warbler made up the bulk, but they were joined by winter visitors Arctic Warbler and Mugimaki Flycatcher. Mindanao White-eye were seen briefly, a Grey-hooded Sunbird was busy on a flowering tree and a noisy group of Cinnamon Ibon gave great views.
  • 2019 [02 February] - Pete Morris - Remote Philippines

    PDF Report
    With more and more birds being split and ‘available’ in the Philippines, we have resurrected our Remote Philippines tour to give us a great shot at fnding a good number of endemics not available on our Classic Philippines tour. The two dovetail perfectly and together really do form the Ultimate Philippines tour.
  • 2019 [03 March] - Mark Villa - Palawan & Mindanao

    PDF Report
    The Philippines has much to offer, and while a thorough exploration would require several weeks there’s still much that can be achieved even on a relatively short visit such as this. With less than two weeks available we concentrated on just two of the main islands; Mindanao and Palawan to allow us a chance at the National Bird of the Philippines – the majestic Philippine Eagle, and the long-staying Palawan Peacock Pheasant.
  • 2019 [03 March] - Mike Nelson - Luzon, Mindanao & Palawan

    PDF Report
    With a steadily growing list of nearly 300 endemics it is no wonder the Philippines is high on most birders radars and it is justly one of our most popular destinations with birders keen to visit the archipelago while reasonable bird populations remain and while highlights like the stunning Palawan Peacock Pheasant are available.
  • 2019 [03 March] - Remote Philippines

    PDF Report
    With close to 300 endemics as the taxonomic quandaries are settled, the Philippines has established itself not only as one of Asia’s most desirable birding locations, but as an essential destination for all world birders.
  • 2020 [02 February] - Julien Mazenauer - Classic Philippines

    PDF Report
    This 2020 Classic Tour is hence the second of its kind to operate, and was a massive success in both numbers of species recorded and number of ‘diamond’ birds seen, those endemics or special birds you’re unlikely to see elsewhere. This year, we recorded 351 species, with a very high percentage of all possible signature birds (including an impressive 166 endemics!) and those megas such as Philippine Eagle, Palawan Peacock-Pheasant, Celestial Monarch, Spotted Wood Kingfisher, Southern Silvery Kingfisher, Flame-breasted Fruit Dove and Azure-breasted Pitta, not to mention 13 superb species of owl seen (including the rarely seen Mindanao Scops Owl, the unique Giant Scops Owl and the huge Philippine EagleOwl), 19 species of doves and pigeons (including the fantastic Yellow-breasted Fruit Dove, the threatened Spotted Imperial Pigeon and the poorly known Mindanao Brown Dove, the latter a Birdquest lifer) and 11 2 BirdQuest Tour Report : Classic Philippines 2020 www.birdquest-tours.com species of kingfishers (including the tiny Indigo-banded Kingfisher).
Places to Stay


Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

  • Sangat Island Reserve

    Accommodation
    Sangat Island Reserve is a wonderful spot close to nature where the rooms blend in with the surrounding flora and fauna and it is just a step away from a myriad of diving opportunities like no other. Get back to nature, forget the material world most of us live in and escape the pressures you left behind.
Other Links
  • Birds of the Philippines

    Website
    This is our online life list, in photographs and videos of wild birds found in the Philippines. There are 695 species of birds recorded in the Philippines, and of these 241 are endemic, or found only in the Philippines.
  • The Philippine [Monkey-Eating] Eagle

    Website
    The day I finally saw a Philippine Eagle - coming to a nest on Mt. Katanglad on Mindanao - was among the happiest and saddest days of my life. Happy, because I had finally experienced such a magnificent bird in the wild, but sad, because one could hear chainsaws cutting at the edge of its forested home from dawn to dusk every day we were there.
Blogs
  • Anthony Sayson - Go Out and Bird

    BLOG
    (Boredom kills) Go Out and Bird. I'm Anthony Sayson and I hate doing nothing (unless I'm asleep). So, during my idle moments I GO OUT AND BIRD. BIRDING is far more than what you think…
  • Bob Kaufman - Two Birders To Go

    BLOG
    Birder, photographer and occasional cynic.
  • Charles Pandi - Birds of Pandi, Makati

    BLOG
    Last update December 2012 - I am a young amateur birder who lives in Makati City, Philippines, hence the name of my blog. I created this blog to raise awareness in the environment and for me to share to you my birding adventures and my knowledge. This blog is about me, my moments and my life…
  • Maiabird's Brain

    BLOG
    Birder from the Philippines writes about her adventures and misadventures in the field…
  • Mark Jason Villa Goes Birding

    BLOG
    Last updated December 2011 - Mark Jason Villa is a member of the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines where he is part of the records committee. Mark has done volunteer/research work on Humpback Whales (WWF), Montagu's Harrier (AMUS), Calayan Rail (ISLA), and Birds and butterflies in Terranganu, Malaysia and is looking to do more. He currently does some bird guiding…
  • Pajareo sin fronteras

    BLOG
    Blog about birding and wildlife-watching in the Philippines, United States, and beyond.
  • The Wandering Pixel

    BLOG
    Last updated October 2013 - The outdoors, It is where I find peace and solitude. I call it my playground. As a kid who grew up in a logging town, I was exposed at a very early age to the wonders of nature. I've seen ginormous trees, butterflies, lizards, big and small mammals, mountains, different shapes and sizes of insects, the sea, waterfalls, snakes, rivers, birds and what-have-you even before I learned about them in the four corners of a classroom…/
  • Tonji & Sylkvia's Wildlife Refuge

    BLOG
    Two birders creating a wilderness! Hi, I'm Sylvia and my husband is Tonji. We are converting a farm into a bird and wildlife sanctuary. So far, it looks like its working and the birds like what we're doing!
Photographers & Artists
  • Artist - David Tomb

    Gallery
    See his wonderful hornbill paintings!
  • Photographer - Romy Ocon

    Gallery
    Some absolutely brilliant photos of Philippine birds

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