The Laboratory and Experimental Services Division (LESD) particularly the Laboratory Service Section (LSS) organized the Training on Bird Identification and Survey Techniques on May 29 to June 1, 2017 to capacitate the ERDB technical personnel in the field of avifauna. Twenty (20) representatives participated from the ERDB Main Office technical divisions and Regional Centers. The purpose of the training is to introduce the participants to the basic concepts on Ornithology, enhance skills in common bird identification by sight and sound on field and conduct hands -on training on methods of field collection techniques and data recording.

The 4-day training course started with a series of lectures from the bird expert, Dr. Simplicia A. Pasicolan, Chief of Urban Ecosystems Research Division (UERD). This was followed by a field practicum handled by For. Rolly C. Urriza, a researcher and curator in-charge of the Ornithology section of the Philippine National Museum. The last activity was the preparation and presentation of action plans by the participants.

Dr. Pasicolan's lectures dealt with bird ecology in which the habitat of different bird species were identified from arboreal to wetland ecosystems. Bird identification techniques were also presented, wherein ocular and bird calls/songs were discussed. In the ocular observation, it is important to identify the distinct part or topography of the bird for identification purposes. An exercise was made on the last day of her lecture wherein 20 photos of birds were flashed on screen to be identified by the participants.

Field practicum was carried out at the Los Baños Experiment Station (LBES) and the Makiling Forest Reserve (MFR). Two survey methods were established; the mist-netting and transect walk survey. Mist-nets are special nets used for trapping birds and was set up at the LBES. Transect survey, on the other hand, is a 2- km line laid along the road or forest trails and observe the birds with the use of binoculars, cameras and by bird call recognitions.

The last part of the training activity was the action planning wherein each center/division was assigned to propose and present a 3 -yr action plan as an output of their attendance to the said training. These action plans will be monitored regularly by the LESD to validate if the presented plan is being executed as a commitment by the participants. Yrah Joy C. Panizales, LESD