Baras Bird Sanctuary (Sultan Kudarat)
Birds have wings; they are free; they can fly where they want they want. They have the kind if mobility many people envy. — Roger Tory Peterson
I was on my way to Isulan (coming from Cotabato City, it will take around 2 hours to reach Sultan Kudarat’s capital), when I have learned of this avian sanctuary. So I asked around and I was told it is just around 30 minutes from Tacurong City. SO, a spur-of-the moment decision to have a date with nature’s winged creatures came about.
The Baras Bird Sanctuary, with an estimated 1.3 hectares in land area, i shome to a number of wild migratory bird species. The park is tucked in the outskirts of the only city in Sultan Kudarat — Tacurong. This is definitely a welcome treat for nature-enthusiasts as one can have an up-close encounter with freely roaming birds of different types.
A bit of History: The story behind Baras Bird Sanctuary can be traced in the mid-90s when four egrets were seen in this peppercorn farm owned by the family of Mr. Rey Oliver Malana. It was said that the owners allowed these creatures to seek refuge on the farm. Being a peaceful area notable increase in the number of visiting birds were observed, until eventually it became their home. The species of birds notable in the area include Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis), Great Egret (Ardea alba), Intermediate Egret (Ardea intermedia), Little Egret (Egretta garzetta), Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax), and Rufous Night Heron (Nycticorax caledonicus).
Because of the increment in the bird’s population, the owners sought the help of the local government unit in order to secure property. By the year 2002, the Tacurong City government named the farm Baras Bird Sanctuary and declared it as an ecotourism destination in Sultan Kudarat.
There is an entrance fee of P20.00, but donations to help maintain this beautiful place are also accepted.
Directions to Baras Bird Sanctuary: If you’re coming from Tacurong City, take tricycle to Baras Bird Sanctuary. It’s highly advisable to rent them during your visit since there are no regular public transportation going to the area. Chartered fare would costs around P100-P150 one way. (I did give my tryke driver Php300 because he was sooooo nice and did patiently wait for me).
So if you happen to be a bird lover (and maybe a bird photography enthusiast), then the Baras Bird Sanctuary will definitely be a sight to behold.