The Philippine Eagle is one of the most magnificent birds of prey on Earth. Residing only in the Philippines on the eastern Luzon, Samar, Leyte and Mindanao islands, this massive dark brown and white raptor is known to soar in gallery forest and steep terrain. Even though it weighs up to 7 kgs and has a long wingspan, this bird of prey is incredibly agile capable of whipping from one tall tree to the next snatching prey.
The Philippine Eagle’s nape is adorned with long brown feathers that form a shaggy crest. These feathers give it the appearance of possessing a lion’s mane, which in turn resembles the mythical gryphon. The eagle has a dark face and a creamy-brown nape and crown.
The back of the Philippine Eagle is dark brown, while the underside and underwings are white. The heavy legs are yellow with large, powerful dark claws, and the prominent large, high-arched, deep beak is a bluish-gray. The eagle’s eyes are blue-gray.
Philippine Eagle Diet
Philippine eagle feeds on colugos, civets, macaques, large birds, large snakes, monitor lizards and small dogs and pigs. The largest prey taken to it’s nest was a 30 lb deer, also on record taking an adult female macaque carrying in one leg and the amazing thing it attacks a large python! – a feat you ca never find to Harpy eagle. So Philippine eagle is more POWERFUL than Harpy eagle more ferocious too.
The Philippine Eagle also infrequently eats monkeys. Pairs sometimes hunt troops of monkey cooperatively, with one bird perching nearby to distract the primates so that the other can soar in unnoticed for the kill.
Mindanano has the highest number of eagles with between 80 and 230 breeding pairs. The other islands contain only a few birds with Leyte having only two breeding pairs. They prefer tropical lowland rain-forests and can be found from the lowlands up to about 6,000 feet in elevation.
World’s largest living eagle
The Philippine Eagle is the world’s largest living eagle in terms of length. The species has a wingspan of approximately 2 meters (6.6 ft). The wings of this eagle are shorter than large eagles of open country (such as the Martial Eagle , Wedge-tailed Eagle and Steller’s Sea Eagle, but are quite broad and have a greater surface area than any other eagle.
The Philippine Eagle is a giant forest raptor endemic to the Philippines. It is considered one of the largest and most powerful eagles in the world. Unfortunately, it is also one of the world’s rarest and certainly among its most critically endangered vertebrate species.
Its natural habitat is mainly dipterocarp lowland forest where it is known to nest almost exclusively on large , old-growth dipterocarps from 100-1000 meters in elevation. Most of the nesting sites discovered during the recent decade have been associated with steep, forested valleys or ravines.
Breeding Cycle and life expentancy
The complete breeding cycle of the Philippine Eagle lasts for two years. The female sexually matures at five years of age and the male seven. Like most eagles, the Philippine Eagle is monogamous. Once paired, a couple remains together for the rest of their lives.
However, if one bird of a pair dies, the survivor often finds a new mate to replace the one lost. Life expectancy for a wild eagle is estimated to be anywhere from 30 to 60 years. A captive Philippine Eagle lived for more than 41 years old in a zoo in Rome. However, it is believed that wild birds on average live shorter than captive birds.