Real Life Ibong Adarna

Real-life Ibong Adarna Spotted In Mindanao

It looks just like the “Ibong Adarna” from the story books!

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources Davao Region recently spotted a female Philippine Trogon in Mt. Apo.

It is a rare bird often compared to the mythical “Ibong Adarna.” The department shared captivating photos of the colorful avian, scientifically known as Harpactes ardens, on a tree branch.

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Photo by DENR Davao

According to the DENR, the female Philippine Trogon exhibits subdued shades of mustard-yellow underparts and an olive-brown head, while the males display more vibrant colors. These birds feed on insects and fruits and seek shelter in tree hollows.

The DENR has called on the public to help protect and preserve this legendary bird. Filipinos associated the bird with the mythical creature from the 16th-century epic poem “Ibong Adarna” due to its bright and colorful feathers.

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Photo by Foveros Project

These Trogon birds are blissfully found in the darker parts of the forests surrounding the dormant stratovolcano in the Southern Mindanao region, as they tend to be shy and avoid human presence.

The Philippines has a diverse range of bird species, with approximately 741 varieties identified. Sadly, 74 of these species are considered endangered. The country ranks 9th globally regarding the number of at-risk birds.

A study by the Haribon Foundation revealed that around 200 bird species in the Philippines are considered endemic. At least 15 are classified as critically endangered, 12 as endangered, 47 as vulnerable, and 59 as near threatened. Deforestation, habitat degradation, and exploitation threaten local bird populations in the country.

Furthermore, the illegal wildlife trade poses a significant threat to species conservation. The industry itself is worth around P50 billion in the country, according to the Asian Development Bank.

Poaching of birds is most rampant in Palawan, Aurora, and Cagayan. Species like blue-naped parrots, Palawan hill mynahs, and Luzon lowland scops owls are among the most hunted.

Banner Image Paulo Correa

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