The opening of the month of March brings joy to me upon knowing from a fellow Bird Photographer that he spotted a rare species of bird on his trail to Mt Kitanglad, Bukidnon.
The rare wild bird species documented by Benjamin Torregosa Maputi Jr, the owner of the Maputi Bird Preserve Camp and a member of the Wild Birds Photographers in the Philippines (WBPP) is no other than the Apo Sunbird (Aethopyga boltoni).
The Apo Sunbird (Aethopyga boltoni) is a bird species in the sunbird family Nectariniidae and considered to be an endemic to the island of Mindanao, Philippines.
Accordingly, its natural habitat is tropical moist montane forest such as the Mt. Kitanglad Range wherein located at moderate and/or high elevation regions or 1,300 meters upward.
Justified by the Bird Life International, "Apo Sunbird has a small range restricted both geographically and attitudinal and thought to be relatively stable at present within the area but careful monitoring of potential threats is required. Therefore listed as Near Threatened."
Albeit listed as a Near Threatened by the International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN Red List of Threatened Species), It is considered as a rare bird species because the Apo Sunbird is endemic to the island of Mindanao, thus, cannot be found on other countries to date. In addition, what something unique with this bird species of the Nectariniidae Family is it generally occurs in flowering trees and shrubs in mossy forest above 1,500 meters. Accordingly, it has been recorded breeding in January to July.
The Apo Sunbird has a long tail and narrow throat and is considered to be a fairly common in Mt Malindang, Mt Apo, Mt Kitanglad, Mt Pasian and Lake Sebu, and Mt Busa and Mt Matutum. It was named by Mearns late 1905.