From 4 Egrets, Baras Bird Sanctuary Has More Than 20,000 Endemic Birds

From just four Egrets in 1996, the 1.3 hectare peppercorn farm of Mr. Rey Malana has turned into a sanctuary for more than 20,000 endemic and migratory birds in Baras, Tacurong, Sultan Kudarat.

This year, Tacurong celebrated its 3rd Bird Festival with the preservation and conservation of the birds in focus and giving importance to the birds’ role in the environment.

In line with the celebration was a bird fun run where runners wore bird headgears or costumes, a conservation forum, bird photo exhibit and a tour of the Baras Bird Sanctuary.

What do birds do to the environment? Aside from keeping the balance in the food chain and in biodiversity, they contribute in distributing seeds of flora, pollinating flowers, control pests, fertilize fields, and in the case of Tacurong, help develop an ecotourism destination.

Baras Bird Sanctuary is the only one of its kind in an urbanized setting that maintains the natural environment of the birds.  The birds are cageless and their population changes depending on the season.  

As you walk under the trees, you can see nests of the birds on branches with families of egrets while some birds are on the forest floor foraging for food. 

When dusk sets in, the nocturnal birds fly out and the diurnal birds come home to roost.

The guide will orient and inform you about the birds and even answer questions as you walk around the sanctuary.

For 20 pesos, you will not only be one with nature but learn how a segment of it and you as a human being, can live harmoniously and make the environment a better place.

Photos by Mr. Shem Torre-Longakit and the author.

How to get there:

Baras Bird Sanctuary is 7 kilometers away from the city proper of Tacurong, Sultan Kudarat.

By Air•    Manila to General Santos City Airport•    Manila to Francisco Bangoy International Airport [Davao City]•    Manila to Awang Airport [Cotabato City]By Land•    General Santos City to Tacurong City – 92 kms. by bus and van •    Davao City to Tacurong City – 178 kms. by bus and van•    Cotabato City to Tacurong City – 96 kms. by bus and van•    Cagayan de Oro City – 314 kms by bus and van