Luzon, Mindoro, Palawan, Negros, Bohol, Cebu, Mindanao
Our Philippines birding tour is the most comprehensive in existence, visiting 7 islands: Luzon, Mindoro, Palawan, Negros, Bohol, Cebu, and Mindanao. We expect over 300 species, including 120-142 endemics. Thus far, we've seen the Philippine (Monkey-eating) Eagle on every tour, except one. Eventually we'll miss it as it continues on its road to extinction. Best try to see it now while the probability is good. Current guesstimates indicate only 200-600 Philippine Eagles left in the wild. Projections of the current rate of deforestation suggest that there will not be a forest patch big enough to support even one pair in the near future. Other birds we expect to find include: Chinese Egret, Philippine Duck, Philippine Falconet, the recently described (2001) Philippine Woodcock (one flew right through our dining hall on Mt. Kitanglad on both our 2000 and 2001 tours), 2-4 beautiful fruit-doves, 3-5 racquet-tails, 2 superb malkohas, 5 coucals, several endemic owls, Philippine and Javan Frogmouths, Philippine Trogon, 10 or 11 kingfishers, 5 hornbills, Wattled Broadbill, Azure-breasted, Red-bellied and Hooded Pittas, Philippine Fairy-bluebird, 2 or 3 of the endemic Rhabdornis, Coleto, Apo Myna, Blue and Rufous Paradise-Flycatchers, and lots of babblers (12 or 13), warblers (20), flycatchers (10), whistlers (3), flowerpeckers (10), sunbirds (11), white-eyes (6), etc. With a lot of luck, we might see a Palawan Peacock-Pheasant or a Luzon Bleedingheart. Add to all these birds the hospitality and friendliness of the Filipinos, their tasty food and some great scenery and you have a grand time in store for you.
The Philippine Islands are the worst ecological disaster area in the SE Asia region. Each trip we see more and more destruction of habitat. Our trip lists have not been seriously affected yet but they will be soon. In the not too distant future, we'll see the last of accessible birding habitat in many areas. The endemic political instability has seemed worse in the last few years with the battles against terrorists in the Muslim areas of western Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago. However, these areas are remote from our tour route. We monitor the situation and avoid any areas which might be in any way dangerous. If you want to go to the Philippines, do it soon while there are still some birds left. Frankly we see little hope, ecologically, for the Philippines and recommend it for the #1 spot on your "do it now or never list." Leader: Ben King.