The Philippine Eagle is declared the national bird of the Philippines under proclamation no. 615. The scientific name of Philippine eagle is Pithecophaga jefferyi. Other famous names are Monkey-eating Eagle, and the Great Philippine Eagle while names in local language include ágila, háribon (portmanteau of haring ibón – king bird), and banog (kite). It is considered as one of the largest and most powerful birds of prey in the world and one of many animals unique to the Philippines.
The Philippine Eagle has bluish-gray eyes, dark beak and face while the crown is a combination of beige and brown. The feathers on the nape, which is the same color as the crown, are shaggy. Its back is dark brown while the underside and underwings are white. Its feet are yellow with dark powerful talons.
Its average wingspan is 7 feet and average height is 3 feet from crown feathers up to its tail. Mature bird weighs from 10-18 pounds. The bird is generally solitary and territorial. They are monogamous in nature when mated and the female only lays a single egg every two years. In captivity, the Philippine eagle can live for up to 40+ years.
The Philippine national bird is considered critically endangered with an estimated 392 pairs left in the wild. It is threatened by deforestation and shooting. Killing it is a criminal offense and punishable by law in the Philippines with up to 12 years of imprisonment and fines.
Where to find the Philippine Eagle in the Philippines?
The islands of Leyte, Luzon, Mindanao and Samar are the only places in the Philippines where the Philippine Eagle can be found. It lives in tropical moist forests particularly in the steep and rugged areas. It is one of the rarest eagles in the world.
To personally see, experience, learn and help protect this majestic bird, a non-government organization like the Philippine Eagle Foundation in Davao City offers tours and accepts volunteers.
Check out the links below to learn interesting facts about the Philippine Eagle and Philippine Wildlife.