Birder Profiles: Birders of all Ages and From Different Places

Birdwatchers are a diverse group of individuals who share a common interest in wild birds.

by Ruth Francisco

Alab, Grade 6 student, born and raised in Quezon City

Mariel, full-time homeschooling mom, born in Caloocan and raised in Malabon City

Ric, retired businessman, born and raised in Laoag, Ilocos Norte

Suga, pediatric hematologist, born and raised in Cebu City


Childhood Dream Job

Alab: Robotics engineer
Mariel: TV journalist, writer, and detective 😀
Ric: Businessman
Suga: Pediatrician

Favorite Filipino street food/local dish

Alab: Fishball
Mariel: Crabs
Ric: Pinakbet
Suga: Chicharong bulaklak

Other hobby(ies)

Alab: Public speaking and chorale singing
Mariel: Nature journaling, crocheting, reading
Ric: Watching movies, playing table tennis, outing
Suga: trekking, mountain climbing

What prompted me to try birding

Alab: Was recently introduced through an activity
Mariel: In October 2018, we heard a loud bird calling continuous for over 20 minutes. We later discovered that it was the Brown shrike.
Ric: When I discovered the club (WBCP) in 2008.
Suga: On arriving in Sydney to start my training in 2008, I saw lots of birds in the backyard—rosellas, magpies, sulfur-crested cockatoos. That’s when I asked myself, why is it that I only see one kind of bird in my country- the ETS? When I got home a year later, I started looking more closely at the birds in the backyard and I discovered that there are other birds aside from ETS.

What prompted you to keep you birding?

Alab: That spark when one sees a bird and enjoys its beauty.
Mariel: Nature study is an important part of our homeschool life, and I wanted to model to my children not just a love of nature but how important observations skills are.
Ric: I enjoy seeing and hearing the birds in the wild.
Suga: The thrill of discovering new species.

Most memorable birding adventure

Alab: When I birdwatched in Subic.
Mariel: When I went by myself to Pulau Ubin in Singapore and kept on wishing I had more experienced birders with me 😀
Ric: Discovering the Spotted Imperial Pigeon in Pasuquin.
Suga: Seeing hundreds of Blue-naped Parrots in Subic.

Most wanted bird

Alab: Common Kingfisher
Ric: Mandarin Duck

Most wanted birding site

Mariel: Palawan, since I hardly saw anything when I went recently with my family
Suga: Costa Rica

I consider myself as a…

Alab: Serious birder
Mariel: Dude birder
Ric: Regular birder
Suga: Dude birder

Top 3 similarities between birding and your profession/studies

Alab: Observing. Discipline. Enjoying.
Mariel: 1. Both need my full attention or else both will fly away! 2. Both provide me with opportunities to learn, learn, and learn, which I love 3. I have to watch someone/something poop in both 😀
Ric: Knowledge, Practice, and Patience
Suga: 1. Both care for the vulnerable 2. Both requires patience.

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