07:06 AM August 09, 2018
An unexpected appearance of a dazzling visitor at a man-made forest in Negros Oriental province set hearts aflutter in the small but tightly knit birding community in the Philippines.
On March 19, naturalist and conservationist Rene Vendiola spotted an unusual bird foraging on the leaf litter at a native tree plantation and wildlife sanctuary, called Liptong Woodland, in Bacong town, Negros Oriental.
Vendiola, who started and continues to maintain Liptong Woodland, took a set of blurry pictures of the colorful visitor and uploaded these on Facebook in July.
Despite the poor quality of the photos, it was clear that Vendiola’s feathered guest was a pitta, a ground-dwelling family of birds characterized by their brilliant plumage.
Pittas are also known as “jewels of the forest” for their brilliant, jewel-like colors.
Vendiola’s special guest has an ultramarine blue rump and shoulders and scarlet undertail coverts and belly center.
The initial comments on Facebook identified the bird as the hooded pitta (Pitta sordida), a widespread and common species in the Philippines.