#29 Philippine Eagle

The Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi), also known as the Great Philippine Eagle or Monkey-Eating Eagle, is considered among the tallest, rarest, largest and most powerful birds.

A Wikipedia entry says this bird of prey belongs to the family Accipitridae. Also known as “Haribon” or “Haring Ibon,” which is Filipino for “Bird King,” its local name is banog. The species was discovered in 1896 by the English explorer and naturalist John Whitehead.

The Philippine Eagle was first called the Monkey-Eating Eagle following reports from natives of Bonga, Samar in the Visayas Region, where the species was first discovered to be preying exclusively on monkeys. But later studies showed that eagle also prey on other animals such as civets, large snakes, monitor lizards and even large birds like hornbills. A presidential proclamation led to a change in its name to Philippine Eagle in 1978, and in 1995 it was declared a national emblem.

Due to deforestation in the mountains of Mindanao, Eastern Visayas and parts of North-eastern Luzon where the eagle is often found, it is prohibited to engage in the buying, selling, captivity or hunting of the Philippine Eagle. Violators faced stiffed fines. Despite these measures, the rampant illegal logging abetted by corrupt local government officials, the Philippine Eagle and many other species endemic to the Philippines continue to face irrevocable extinction.

Mabuhay ang Philippine Eagle!

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