Swee Yian and I represented ARRCN in the 9th Philippine Bird Festival (9PBF) held from 27 February – 1 March 2014 in Zamboanga city, Mindanao. As in previous festivals, the 9PBF was jointly organized by the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines, Department of Tourism and Department of Environment & Natural Resources and supported by the host city, in this case Zamboanga. The theme for this year’s festival was “Birds: fly without fear, without worry”, featuring the Barn Swallow which roost without being disturbed in their thousands in the main streets of the city.

The 9PBF was very well-received by the public, with a colourful street parade, bird costume contest, lectures for students and exhibits and activities for visitors to the festival. I did a PowerPoint presentation on “Migratory raptors of South-east Asia”. Besides ARRCN, the other participating regional organizations were the Malaysian Nature Society, Wild Bird Society of Taiwan, Bird Conservation Society of Thailand, Borneo Bird Club and Swarovski Optik.

The ARRCN booth drew many visitors, thanks to our interesting activities and exhibits that attracted the crowds. Many tried their hands at folding origami raptors and raptor gliders. The free raptor tattoos (thanks to MNS Perak Bird Group for loan of the stamps) were very popular with students and youth. Visitors also viewed our posters on ARRCN, Asian raptors and raptor migration and many posed for photos beside the life-size poster of the Cinereous Vulture.

Report by Lim Kim Chye

15 March 2014