Pátiriktírik (Gallinula chloropus) has now a become a mythical being to this sad Kapampangan generation because not even their fathers’ generation has seen this bird up close and personal. No matter how their grandparents describe this very rare and shy creature, they could never match it to the common flightless fowls like the birds and ducks that they see in the yard. This bird was supposed to wobble with a seemingly unsteady gait ‘iniâ pátiriktírik ya‘ (that is why tips and teeters from side to side as if about to fall). It has long thin greenish branch-like claws that does not seem to help it walk steadily. It is said to prefer living in dried up river beds the old folks call gabun a pátiriktírik and lay their eggs in the sand. Abandoned by water and fertility, and perhaps even by the gods, nothing is said to grow on gabun a pátiriktírik except for weeds and the Pátiriktírik. Thus most cemeteries are placed in them. So this poor and shy creature is now sometimes associated with the dark forces.
Kennedy, Robert S., Gonzales, Pedro C., Dickinson, Edward, et al. (2000). A Guide to the Birds of the Philippines. New York, USA: Oxford University Press.
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