Even as a child in the Philippines in the 1960s, I was aware of this great bird of prey that was the subject of reports by the National Geographic Society and Life magazine. The aviator Charles Linbergh came to the Philippines and helped focus the world's attention on this eagle and what has been its constant nemesis--- extinction. Through the dedicated work of conservationists and their backers, the future of the Philippine Eagle ( Pithecophaga jefferyi) is no longer as grim as before.
The Agence France-Presse recently reported on the 22nd Philippine Eagle born and bred in captivity. It is in good health and fed a nourishing meal of ground quail meat. It is still without a name. Evidently, the Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF), organized in 1987 and situated in Davao, allows individuals or companies to name the chicks if they donate at a certain level. It's all for a great cause, obviously. The center estimated that only 600 of these eagles are left.
The Philippine Eagle is considered one of the three largest eagles in the world. When fully grown, the eagle's wing span can measure up to an awe-inspiring 6.6 feet. Another remarkable aspect of the Philippine Eagle is its longevity. The PEF reported that the Rome zoo took in a fully grown eagle in 1934, and that eagle lived till 1976. Another example comes from the Philippine Eagle Center itself where a young eaglet arrived in 1969 and it is still alive today.
If you want to learn more about the conservation efforts involving the eagle, please click on the link I provided above for the Philippine Eagle Foundation. Here is also some further reading:
Photo credit: Philippine Eagle Foundation