By Cza Consantino
“Urban Birds and the Philippine Eagle” was the central topic during the Earth Day celebration with the Haribon Foundation at Museo Pambata. Last April 23, the Haribon Foundation spent the day with 18 children from Barangay 843 Pandacan, Manila to talk about commonly seen urban birds and the features of the great Philippine Eagle. They culminated the talk with a short birdwatching activity in the area around the museum.
The interactive discussion started with an introductory talk from Ms. Noreen Parafina, the Programs Director of Museo Pambata Foundation, Inc. She emphasized the importance of the Earth and our role in taking care of it.
Ate Cza Constantino of Haribon Foundation then gave an introductory talk on ecology where participants were encouraged to take care of our environment, which is everything around us, a place where people, animals and plants live and thrive. The participants played the game “Paint Me a Picture” where they created, using themselves and their co-participants as part of the canvas, pictures of various ecosystems. They depicted how living and non-living things interrelate and maintain ecological balance.
Children played games to further understand the importance of biodiversity.
After learning about ecology, Ate Nikk Almazar discussed birds and their role in the ecosystem (i.e. food, pollinator, insect control, etc.). Pictures and videos of different urban birds were also shown to let participants appreciate the variety of birds in the Philippines, even in urban areas. Ate Cza led the participants to play a fun activity called the Bird Game where they acted like certain birds and do bird calls as well as played jack-en-poy which determined if they can transform themselves from an egg, to a Pipit or Sunbird, then to a Balisara or Philippine Trogon, and finally, to a Haring Ibon or Philippine Eagle. Ate Nikki then led the participants to the area where the Philippine Eagle is featured and gave some trivia about the King of the Birds.
To give participants with a more visual and real experience as well as increase their love and appreciation for birds, Ate Nikki and Ate Cza led the participants outside the museum to look for birds. They were first oriented on the things they should observe while doing bird watching like being quiet and maintaining their distance. The children were also advised that they should not disturb birds in their natural habitat. During their bird watching, they were able find two birds: Zebra Dove and Eurasian Tree Sparrow. To conclude the activity, Ate Nikki and Ate Cza reminded the children to keep birds in their natural habitat, not in cages.