The Birds of Alabang Hills
These are birds that have been spotted within the boundaries of Alabang Hills Village, Muntinlupa City, Philippines. I welcome information from Alabang Hills residents and visitors on these birds or other birds that have been seen in the Village.

Black-naped Oriole   Brown Shrike   Eurasian Tree Sparrow   Little Heron   Olive-backed Sunbird
Pacific Swallow   Philippine Cockatoo   Pied Fantail   White-breasted Wood-swallow
White-collared Kingfisher   Yellow-vented Bulbul   Zebra Dove

Bird photography is a professional specialty that requires advanced equipment and skills. Since I don't possess either, I have downloaded some photographs from the excellent website of the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines

I used information from the following reference books:
A Guide to the Birds of the Philippines, Robert Kennedy, et al, Oxford, 2000. The definitive guide on Philippine birds, with descriptions and clear illustrations of every bird ever spotted in the country.
A Photographic Guide to Birds of the Philippines, Tim Fisher and Nigel Hicks, London, 2006. A convenient pocket-size field guide.

Black-naped Oriole, Kilyawan, Kulyawan
Oriolus chinensis
Family: Oriolidae (Orioles, Fairy-bluebirds).
OrioleAbout 27 cm long. Common throughout the Philippines in open country, orchards and gardens, alone or in groups. The call is a loud and pleasant pee-yaaaaooww. It is often heard from far before being seen.

Small groups can occasionally be seen on high trees in Alabang Hills, often calling loudly together. Their call and bright yellow plumage are unmistakable.

More on this bird at:

Brown Shrike, Tarat, Pakis-kis
Lanius cristatus
Family: Laniidae (Shrikes)
Brown shrikeAbout 19 cm long. Common throughout the country from forest edge to the center of Manila. A migrant that is usually seen from September to May, perched on bushes, fences and telephone wires. The call is a loud harsh chatter: cher cher cher.

Can often be seen alone or in pairs in small trees and bushes in Alabang Hills. It is an agressive bird that has been seen attacking other birds in the Village.

More on this bird at:

Eurasian Tree Sparrow, Mayang-bahay
Passer montanus
Family: Ploceidae (Old World Sparrows, Weavers)
SparrowAbout 13 cm long. Ubiquitous bird that can be found everywhere in association with humans. Probably introduced in early times. The call is a musical and liquid chirp.

It can be seen in every garden of Alabang Hills every day and needs no introduction.

More on this bird at:

Little Heron, Striated Heron, Green-backed Heron, Bakaw, Bakaw Itim
Butorides striatus
Family: Ardeidae (Bitterns, Egrets, Herons)
About 45 cm long. Common throughout the Philippines in fish ponds, streams, coastal flats and mangroves. Stays motionless during the day and feeds at night. The call is a single loud keeuuk in flight.

One bird was captured in a garden in Dona Annie Street recently and later released outside the Village. The bird was a daily visitor at dusk to feed on the koy fish in a garden pond.

More on this bird at:

Little Heron
Olive-backed Sunbird, Pipit-parang, Pipit-puso
Nectarinia jugularis
Family: Nectariniidae (Spiderhunters, Sunbirds)
Olive-backed sunbirdAbout 11 cm long. Very common thoughout the Philippines in open country, plantations, mangroves and gardens. It is very active and seen usually in pairs feeding around flowering trees and bushes. The call is a loud che-wheeet.

This small bird is occasionally seen in pairs or small groups fluttering around flowering trees and bushes in gardens in Alabang Hills.

More on this bird at:

Pacific Swallow, Layang Layang
Hirundo tahitica
Family: Hirundinidae (Martins, Swallows)
About 12 cm long. Common throughout the Philippines, along the coast, and in open country, cultivated areas and towns. Often seen flying in small groups over fields or water. Nests in the eaves of houses and buildings. The call is a series of twsit-twsit-twsit.

Groups of Pacific swallows can sometimes be seen flying low over vacant lots in Alabang Hills, for example feeding on insects over the garbage that has been dumped along Toledo, near Tagaytay. 

More on this bird at:

Philippine Cockatoo, Abukay, Kalangay
Cacatua haematuropygia
Family: Psittacidae (Lorikeets, Cockatoos, Parrots)
About 31 cm long. Once widespread and common throughout most of the Philippines, but now rare due to excessive trapping. Can only now be seen in lowland forest and open country in Palawan and Sulu. Loud raucous calls range from eeeek, owwwwk and rouuuk.

A few birds exist in semi-captivity in a house in La Carlota, and can often be heard and seen flying above gardens in Alabang Hills, occasionally perching on high trees.

More on this bird at:
Philippine cockatoo

Pied Fantail, Maria Kapra
Rhipidura javanica
Family: Muscicapidae (Flycatchers)
Pied fantailAbout 19 cm long. Very common throughout the Philippines in plantations, parks and gardens. Constantly hopping from branch to branch and fanning its tail. The call is a series of metallic notes repeated often.

This bird is occasionally seen in Alabang Hills gardens hiding in bushes and lower trees. It has been seen attacking other birds and even dogs when nesting.

More on this bird at:  

White-breasted Wood-swallow, Gitgit, Gikgik, Pagatpat
Artamus leucorynchus
Family: Artamidae (Wood-swallows)
About 19 cm long. Common throughout the Philippines in open country, forest edge and coastal areas. A graceful flyer, it usually perches motionless in small groups on telephone wires and dead branches. The call is a harsh git-git or kik-kik given in flight.

It is sometimes seen perched on wires and feeding on insects in small groups in Alabang Hills, but is not common.

More on this bird at:
White-breasted Wood-swallow

White-collared Kingfisher, Salaksak, Kasaykasay
Halcyon chloris
Family: Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
White-collered kingfisherLength 24 cm. The most common and conspicuous of Philippine kingfishers, seen in coastal areas, mangroves, open country and towns, rarely in forests. The call is a loud harsh kak kak kak kak kak.

It is sometimes seen perched on trees or fences in gardens in Alabang Hills.

More on this bird at

Yellow-vented Bulbul, Kulkul, Luklak, Malipato
Pycnonotus goiavier
Family: Pycnonotidae (Bulbuls)
About 19 cm long. Common throughout the Philippines from urban gardens to open country and second growth. The call is a pleasant bubbling cho,  chop, cho-cho, cul-cul or pirop, repeated.

It is commonly seen in Alabang Hills, perching on trees, alone or more often in pairs.

More on this bird at:
Yellow-vented Bulbul

Zebra Dove, Kurokurot, Batobatong Katigbe
Geopelia striata
Family: Columbidae (Doves, Pigeons)
Zebra doveAbout 22 cm long. Common throughout the Philippines on roads and in garden, trees and cultivated areas. The call is a pleasant often repeated kurrr coo coo.

It is commonly seen walking on roads and lawns in Alabang Hills, flying to nearby bushes and trees when flushed.

More on this bird at:

Christian Perez
14 Dona Annie, Alabang Hills,
Muntinlupa City, Philippines