Bird Banding and Bird Catching: A Letter From the Boondocks

Here’s an interesting letter written in 1974 by a kailiyan from Nueva Vizcaya. It deals with a migratory bird which he saw hanging on a tree; he sent this letter to the organization which was banding birds probably to study their migratory patterns. Hindi kaya kilala ni Gandang Igorota ang ating letter writer?

Imugan, Santa Fe, Nueva Vizcaya
November 11, 1974

Dear Sir,
Prior I proceed my letter may I greet you first say good morning or good afternoon. I send this short note ain of the bird, because it is already came here in the Philippines like here in my place of Barrio Imugan, Santa Fe, Nueva Vizcaya. When I go up to the forest I see a died bird hanging on the tree. When I see the big bird died, I claimed the tree in I get the bird died after I can’t get, I see the big ring and their legs. So cant writing you. Sir please excuse me because don’t know how speak Enlish because I am a cultural- minorities or Igorots or natives peoples So excuse me. THATS ALL and God Bless you always and merry Christmas to you all.


Additional information from source: The remarkable young man who wrote the letter has since become chief of police of his small village. He continued to communicate with the bird banders as he has found rings among the hunters of his area. This bird that he reports was a Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis) which had been ringed as a nestling in Taiwan in 1966. So it was eight years old and had managed to avoid Filipino hunters for as many winters.

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PHOTO CREDIT: Ecological and Environmental Learning Services.

2 thoughts on “Bird Banding and Bird Catching: A Letter From the Boondocks”

  1. hmm! what a letter…di ko masyadong na-gets sa first reading.:)

    nope, i am not acquainted with the author and the letter seemed to have been written before i was born. I have heard of the ‘akik’ (or ikik in your language)practice of bird catching in Sta. Fe, N.V. and it was even featured in MGB of Ch. 2 some years ago; but yes, as far as I know, the practice is now banned by the DENR.

    I’ll confess though that in the earlier summers of my life (i.e. when I was still a kid), we used to catch birds (not by the hundreds but considerably many, like probably 50 or more a day and we do it everyday of the two months when school is out) by putting a bait of flapping insect through a stick that is dipped in a sticky paste from a certain tree. We usually catch migratory birds during the summers. The mechanics is that when the bird sees the insect, it flies to it and gets stuck on the paste and then you run from your hiding place to ‘save’ the bird. Nowadays, I don’t see those kinds of birds anymore, I hope they just changed route… makes me feel guilty that I might have contributed to their extinction. 🙁

  2. Hi Ferri,
    Like Pagano’s comment, I am also “stealing” your comment and putting it in the main page. I like it a lot kasi and I think other readers would appreciate reading it. Thanks

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