It seems not only humans are drawn to paradise-like beauty of Siargao, as a flock of rare hooded cranes was seen in Siargao Island in Surigao del Norte province last week.
The cold-loving migratory species which stand a meter high were first spotted near Barangay Libertad in Santa Monica town in Siargao, according to Greg Laude, resident bird watcher and author of the website www.wildsiargao.com. But local farmers say the birds have been visiting their fields for the past weeks.
Hooded cranes (Grus monacha) favor places with colder climates for breeding like in eastern Russia and northern China. During the winter their flocks head south in Japan and Korea.
Arne Jensen, associate expert and ornithologist of Wetlands International, told Inquirer that this group was likely blown further south than usual by recent strong northerly amihan (northeast monsoon) winds.[READ: Manila’s Baguio-like cold weather is brought to us by ‘amihan,’ cold front and LPA]
Due to their dwindling populations around the world, hooded cranes are considered vulnerable and threatened with possible extinction. This is why they are protected by the law that punishes those who hunt them down for game.
Header photo courtesy of Robert Hutchinson for Inquirer
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Writer: CHRISTIAN SAN JOSE