Philippine Eagle

The Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) is one of the rarest, largest and most powerful birds in the world. This bird of prey, or raptor, belongs to the family Accipitridae. It is also known as "Haribon" or "Haring Ibon," meaning "Bird King."

This eagle's head is adorned with long brown feathers that give it the appearance of a lion's mane. The upperside of the Philippine Eagle is brown, the underside white; The heavy legs are yellow with large, powerful claws, the prominent large, high arched, deep bill is a bluish-gray, with blue-gray eyes. The average female is about 1 meter (3.3 feet) long, weighs about 7 kg (15.5 lb), and has a wingspan of 2 meters (6.7 feet). This makes the Philippine Eagle one of the world's largest eagles with the largest wing surface area. The Harpy Eagle and Steller's Sea Eagle are about the same size as this species. The adult male is about 10-20% smaller and averages at about 5 kg (11 lbs). The life expectancy for the Philippine Eagle is around 30-60 years.

The Philippine Eagle is now known as the National Bird of the Philippines and this has helped increase awareness of the bird and its plight.

Its numbers have slowly dwindled over the decades with only an estimated 500 pairs left. The Philippine Eagle may soon no longer be found in the wild, unless direct intervention is taken. The Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) of Davao City is one such organization dedicated to the protection and conservation of the Philippine Eagle and its forest habitat. In fact, PEF has been successfully breeding Philippine Eagles in captivity for over a decade now and has also conducted the first experimental release of a captive-bred eagle to the wild. Ongoing research on behavior, ecology and population dynamics is also underway.