M'LANG, North Cotabato — Two black-shouldered kite (llanus caerullus) birds rescued by a farmer last May 7 are finally home following their release on Friday morning.
Dario Laydan, park and wildlife officer of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), said the black-shouldered kite is considered as the second smallest ealge specie, next to the falconet, and endemic in the marshy areas.
He said the black-shouldered kite belongs to the family of the Philippine Eagle.
Laydan said the black-shouldered kite bird is also considered as endangered species due to its decreasing number.
Laydan said at least 500 black-shouldered kites have been documented all over the Philippines.
“We are blessed that the Liguasan Marsh that stretches from North Cotabato and Maguindanao provinces are home to various animals, including the [black-shouldered kite]," Laydan said.
Laydan said that aside from black-shouldered kite, hawks and serpent eagles also live in the Liguasan Marsh.
“They usually feed on fishes that they catch in the marsh,” Laydan said.
Unlike other species of the Philippine Eagle, that grows up to two to three kilograms, the black-shouldered kite only weighs three-fourth grams.
Laydan said that the bird attacks intruders in groups, once they feel that their territory is being threatened.
The local government unit of M'lang, meanwhile, has conducted a weeklong Information and Education Campaign (IEC) among residents near the Liguasan marsh to protect and preserve these birds while in the wilds.
Harold Santillan, the town’s tourism officer, said simultaneous lectures and meeting of residents in three villages along the marshland were conducted to ensure protection of various animals.
“We [have] their support. Village officials immediately organized their 'bantay gubat' in order to protect and preserve the forest,” Santillan said.
Aside from eagles, the marsh is also home to Malang, the largest crocodile in captivity; tarsiers, wild pigs and wild cats. —Williamor A. Magbanua/ALG, GMA News