Exhibit on farm birds opens at IRRI

 Lem Rosellon   |  
IRRI's Director Gener Robert Zeigler cuts the ribbon on the opening of the 'Feathers in the Fields: The Birds of IRRI' exhibit

IRRI’s Director Gener Robert Zeigler cuts the ribbon on the opening of the ‘Feathers in the Fields: The Birds of IRRI’ exhibit

An exhibit entitled Feathers in the Fields: The Birds of IRRI opened 3 May 2013 at the Riceworld Museum of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) headquarters in Los Baños, Philippines.

The exhibit showcases the many bird species that frequent IRRI’s rice farms through images captured by two of the country’s most passionate bird photographers. It also features videos and recorded bird sounds.

IRRI's 2013 annual reportFeathers in the Fields provides a glimpse of birds that are rarely seen even by those who work in the fields. The photographs are supplemented by scientific names, descriptions of the birds, and information on their habitat and diet.

“IRRI sees the rice fields holistically,” said Dr. V. Bruce J. Tolentino, IRRI’s deputy director general for communication and partnerships. “The exhibit on the birds of IRRI underlines the Institute’s attention to rice production as part of a functioning ecosystem that not only supports human food security, but also serves as a habitat for flora and fauna.”

“Such ecosystems need to be managed with careful attention to sustainability and the optimal use of precious natural resources,” Dr. Tolentino added.

Feathers in the Fields: The Birds of IRRI posterThe photographs on exhibit were taken by bird enthusiasts Tirso Paris, Jr., vice president of the Wild Bird Photographers of the Philippines, and Segfredo Serrano, bird-watcher and photographer. Tirso is also an economics professor at the University of the Philippines Los Baños while Fred is undersecretary for policy, planning, research and development, and regulations at the Department of Agriculture of the Philippines.

Two other bird fans—Paul Bourdin and Richard Smedley—provided the content for the exhibit. Paul is a bird-watcher and researcher and is also a teacher at BRENT International School. Richard is a Ph.D. student at the University of Reading in the U.K. He is currently a scholar at IRRI investigating avian biodiversity in the rice fields of Southeast Asia.

Videos and sound bites were recorded and put together by Michael Joyce, radio and video documentary producer at IRRI.

The exhibit opened to the public on 5 May, and has been extended until 20 December 2013. Admission is free.

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