Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary. Legally This Time.

Four years ago, I tried to sneak into Olango's bird sanctuary, officially called Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary, but got lost in the mangroves. That's karma for me. This year I tried to be a good boy and entered the sanctuary through the front door.

Just a 10–peso motorcycle ride from Olango Paradise Island Resort where we were soaking in the sun, we dug ourselves out of the sand and went to see the birds. There are almost a hundred species of birds at the 1,030–hectare Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary and around half of it are migratory birds escaping the freezing winter. The best time to go bird watching in Olango is from September to mid April (peak migration is from November to February; birds from the south come in November, and those from the north come in February), and at two hours before peak high tide. We went at the end of May and as the tide was going out. What bad timing.

Clockwise from top left: Welcome to Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary; the pathway to the observation deck;
Warden Luking looking for birds; the observation deck

But still we saw a dozen species of birds with the help of Warden Luking's telescope and expertise. Warden Luking (he is one of four wardens of the sanctuary) spied and showed us the following birds: gray–tailed tattler, whimbrel, Asian dowitcher, greenshank, plover, little egret, Australian curlew, green–backed heron, redshank, ruddy turnstone, and Chinese egret. Two of them, he informed us, are threatened species: the Chinese egret and the Asian dowitcher. It's a wonder how he can identify these birds. Some birds looked so similar to my poor eyes.

I don't have any photos as proof because my camera lens isn't as powerful as the telescope's; just take my word for it. We were lucky to have seen these many birds when Warden Luking was expecting we'd see only five species at this time of year. I guess this is my reward for being a good boy.

Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary
San Vicente, Olango, Lapu–lapu City
Daily 9AM to 5PM
Sir Rejie 0932 565 7534

Entrance fee Php30
Camping fee Php40 per person (bring own tent)
Pre–nup photo shoot Php500
Video shoot Php3000


  1. i probably wouldn't be able to identify one bird from another too. lol.

    i've always wanted to go to olango, not for the birds but for the picturesque pathway (or is it a boardwalk?) with the mangroves and the clouds and all that. it's probably the only view my camera would be capable of taking, as bird photography would obviously be out of the question. (i reckon you need one of those bazooka lenses for that.)

    1. Hi Jewey! I guess it's a pathway...because it's not made of boards? Heheheh. Yes, you're right, you will need a bazooka lens hahahahahah which, I too, don't have :D

  2. I first heard this island when it was featured in an inflight magazine saying it is one of the most prized sanctuary and habitat in the country.