Philippine Eagle in Davao - Philippines
Known among Filipinos as haribon, or the king of birds, the Philippine Eagle is the countrys national bird. Given its majestic appearance and features, it is a title richly deserved.
The Philippine Eagle is not just one of the largest birds in the Philippines, but in the world. The female adult eagle is more than 3 feet long, and with a wingspan of nearly 7 feet. Weighing it at about 15 pounds, it is almost 20 percent larger than the male counterpart. Both however, have a life period of about 59 years.
With the feathers around its head, brown white color, huge claws and piercing blue eyes, the Philippine Eagle is truly a sight to behold.
The species is distributed widely among the rainforests of Samar, Luzon, Leyte and Mindanao, with the greatest number concentrated in Mindanao, particularly Davao.
Their behavior is similar to that of other eagles around the world; a male and female are monogamous and built their nest together and care for the young. Usually the nest is constructed some 100 ft above ground on high trees. Almost always the Philippine eagle lays just one egg every other year.
Being predators, the Philippine Eagle preys on a variety of smaller animals, but it is impossible to give out a general outline of their diet as it is totally dependent on the species that are thriving in a particular region. For example, the animals that populate the rainforests in Luzon are different from those in Mindanao, so the dietary habits of the species will be expectedly different.
The Philippine Eagle is unique in the sense that not only can it be found only the country, but also that, according to recent studies, its DNA is different from the other major eagle families like the Harpy Eagle, Crested Eagle and New Guinea Harpy Eagle.
Like many other animals, the Philippine Eagle has suffered from the ill effects of poaching and deforestation. The famous monkey eating eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) have been reduced to no more than a thousand. The other variants are also endangered.
Today however, several foundations, such as the Philiuppine Eagle Foundation, have successfully managed to breed several of them in captivity, and the increased awareness of the importance of preserving this creature and its habitat has reached many people.
With this newfound awareness, there is hope that the Philippine Eagle will be able to bounce back and once again soar into the skies.