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What If The Philippines' Endangered Birds Were Part Of Angry Birds?

In Angry Birds' fashion, Filipino artist Albert Balbutin Jr illustrates endangered birds found only in the Philippines. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), twelve of them are critically endangered.

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The Cebu Flowerpecker, Critically Endangered

"Scientists thought this colorful local songbird was extinct, so when birdwatchers spotted the Cebu Flowerpecker again in 1992 in a mountain village in Cebu City, the birding world rejoiced."

"But no photograph has ever been taken of the bird, making it the “holy grail” of bird watchers here and abroad."

"“The maximum number seen together at any of these four sites is just four birds,” the IUCN says, “and the current population is estimated at 100 individuals, with 50 to 60 at Nug-as, 25 to 30 at Tabunan, and 10 to 15 at Dalaguete.”" source

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The Mindoro Bleeding Heart, Critically Endangered

"This species has an extremely small, severely fragmented population which is undergoing a continuing decline owing to lowland forest destruction, combined with hunting and trade. For these reasons it is listed as Critically Endangered." source

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Negros Striped-Babbler, Endangered

"This species qualifies as Endangered because it has a very small range, being known from just two mountains, where on-going forest destruction is reducing the extent, area and quality of habitat, and inevitably leading to a decline in numbers. It appears to be exceedingly rare on one of the mountains and, if there are no further records in the near future, it should be considered confined to one location and may require uplisting to Critically Endangered." source

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The Philippine Cockatoo, Critically Endangered

"This species qualifies as Critically Endangered because it has suffered an extremely rapid population reduction owing to extensive loss of its lowland habitats and trapping for the cagebird trade. Recent suggestions that the rate of decline has slowed may lead to the species being downlisted to Endangered if confirmed." source

image credits: Rommel Cruz and

Flame-Templed Babbler, Endangered

"This lowland forest species has a very small, severely fragmented and declining range. It is estimated that just 10% of remaining forest on the two islands where it occurs (c.144 km2) lies within the elevation range suitable for this species. Although it shows some tolerance of secondary growth, unrelenting wholesale habitat clearance continues to threaten all populations, and consequently this species qualifies as Endangered." source

image credits: Birding Philippines' Youtube and

Tablas Drongo, Endangered

"This recently split species qualifies as Endangered because it is likely to have a very small population, which occupies a very small range in which its habitat is severely fragmented, and forest clearance, mainly for agriculture, is driving on-going declines in the extent and quality of suitable habitat, and probably causing declines in the population. It may be confined to just one forest block with no formal protection; any further reduction in this area of habitat is likely to qualify the species for uplisting to Critically Endangered, thus close monitoring is required." source

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Negros Fruit Dove. Critically Endangered

"This species has not been recorded since the type specimen was collected in 1953, despite a number of recent protracted surveys. However, it may remain extant, given that there was an unconfirmed report in 2002. Further surveys are required on Panay where it may conceivably occur. Any remaining population is likely to be tiny, and undergoing a continuing decline owing to hunting and extensive habitat destruction. For these reasons, it is listed as Critically Endangered." source

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The Visayan Tarictic Hornbill, Endangered

"The Philippines is home to more endemic hornbills than any other country in the world. Of these, the Visayan Tarictic Hornbill is among the smallest. On top of its bill is an unusual ornament that seems to serve no function, but is believed to be the result of what ornithologists (or scientists who study birds) think simply came from an evolutionary process they call sexual selection." source.

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The Isabela Oriole, Critically Endangered

"Oriolus isabellae is endemic to Luzon in the Philippines (Collar et al. 1999). It is known from three localities in Bataan province and five in the north-east of the island. Eleven birds were collected near San Mariano in the Sierra Madre mountains in 11 days in 1961, indicating that it may not have been particularly rare in suitable habitat. However, in the north-east it has been recorded recently at just three localities." source

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Mindoro Tarictic Hornbill, Endangered

"Tarictic Hornbills, known for their "tarictic" sounding calls, can only be found in the Philippines. But the Mindoro Tarictic Hornbill, found only on the Philippine island of Mindoro, is the only tarictic whose males and females look almost exactly the same save for a blue ring around the eyes of the females. This sexual dimorphism makes the female that much more colorful and interesting to see, and makes their species as a whole especially unique in the bird world, where the males tend to be more colorful." source

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Sulu Racquet-Tail, Critically Endangered

"The Sulu Racquet-tail is named after a pair of unique long feathers ending in flattened tips coming out from behind it, likened to a pair of "racquets" with long handles by observers. Also known as the Blue-winged Racquet-tail and locally known as Sangkilit, the females and juveniles have vivid green heads while the males display even more color: a large red spot in the middle of a bright blue cap."

"The tameness of this parrot and the high rate of gun ownership on these islands have made it an easy target and today conservation actions are not only hindered by security issues across the Sulu Islands, but previously logged areas are now being converted to agriculture making reforestation difficult. Despite the overwhelming threats that face the Sulu Racquet-tail, three of them were sighted in January of 2012 during a five-day visit to the islands. The population is now estimated at under 400 birds total." source

image credits: Wikipedia and

Mindoro Imperial Pigeon, Endangered

"This pigeon is listed as Endangered owing to a recent assessment of available habitat which indicated that its range and population, both of which are declining as a result of the continuing rapid reduction in the extent and quality of forest, were much smaller than previously thought." source

image credits: Marc Ameels and

White-Throated Jungle Flycatcher, Endangered

For its size, this dude has a totally badass name. Just sayin'.

"This flycatcher qualifies as Endangered because it has a very small, declining range that is suffering severe fragmentation as a result of deforestation, particularly in the lowlands. However, the recent discovery of the species at previously unknown sites suggests it may be more widespread than was previously thought." source

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Black Hooded Coucal, Critically Endangered

"Centropus steerii is endemic to the island of Mindoro in the Philippines, where it was formerly widespread and fairly common (Collar et al. 1999). However, only a tiny amount of lowland forest remains on Mindoro and its population is now believed to be extremely small, with records since 1980 from just three localities (Siburan, Puerto Galera, Malpalon), two of which are adjacent to each other." source

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The Black Shama, Endangered

"The Black Shama is an all-black bird that sings a rich, melodious song that sounds like long whistles in varying tones. The Black Shama's size and all-black plumage makes it hard to find so its song is what usually signals its presence. Because of this it is usually heard before it is seen. Interestingly it has also been observed that the Black Shama mimics the songs of other birds as well." source

image credits: Raul Benjamin and

The Sulu Hornbill, Critically Endangered

"This hornbill faces the possibility of imminent extinction. It has a tiny population probably now confined to just one island. It is likely to be declining very rapidly owing to the continuing loss and degradation of the few remaining forest tracts in its range, and levels of exploitation. For these reasons, it is listed as Critically Endangered." source and

Streak-breasted Bulbul, Endangered

"Named after the dark brown streaking on its breast1, the Streak-breasted Bulbul is actually divided into three different populations that look just a bit different from each other, located on four different Philippine islands.

Ixos siquijorensis cinereiceps which has a duller cap on its head and lives on the islands of Tablas and Romblon, Ixos siquijorensis siquijorensis which has a darker cap that contrasts with the rest of its body and lives on the island of Siquijor, and Ixos siquijorensis monticola on the island of Cebu. This suggests that the Streak-breasted Bulbul may be an old species that was once abundant throughout the islands but has evidently declined in population." source

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Negros Bleeding-Heart, Critically Endangered

"The Negros Bleeding-heart is one of five bleeding-heart doves in the world and all five can only be found in the Philippines. Like all the other bleeding-heart doves, the Negros Bleeding-heart is named after a splash of red located on its breast. What differs the Negros bleeding-heart from its cousins is that its red splash is much narrower than that of the other bleeding-hearts. It also has a wide stripe of white across its wing3 and can only be found on the Philippine islands of Panay and Negros."

"The scientific name of the Negros Bleeding-heart, Gallicolumba keayi, is a clue to how this bird behaves. "Galli" means chicken and "columba" means pigeon so the Negros Bleeding-heart is a pigeon that spends most of its time on the ground, just like a chicken, only flying up into trees to roost, take cover, or breed." source

image credits: Edward Vercruysse and

Tawi-tawi Brown Dove, Endangered

"The Tawi-Tawi Brown Dove is apparently shy, and coupled with its generally brown plumage, it can be hard to find in the wild. However its song is fairly distinct, sounding like a series of hooting notes in a sequence similar to that of a bouncing ping-pong ball approaching rest"

"Unfortunately there are no protected areas in these islands. Forest clearances are then followed by either oil-palm or cassava plantations. Together with the harvesting of wood for fuel and stilt-house building, and a new emerging threat of mining in Languyan, Tawi-Tawi, the Tawi-Tawi Brown dove is deemed endangered by the IUCN." source

image credits: Ivan Sarenas and

Visayan Wrinkled Hornbill, Critically Endangered

"The remaining population of this species is extremely small and severely fragmented. A combination of extensive loss of low to mid-altitude forest and hunting have resulted in an extremely rapid population decline, although effective conservation measures on Panay offer hope that declines can be stopped. Nevertheless it remains listed as Critically Endangered." source

image credits: Callan Bentley and

Philippine Eagle, Critically Endangered

"This long-lived species qualifies as Critically Endangered because it has an extremely small population, as a result of extremely rapid declines in the past three generations (56 years), owing to extensive deforestation. Recruitment to the adult population currently appears to be very low indicating that declines may continue into the future. Confirmation of trends is required and may lead to a change in status in the future." source

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