Why are eagles the national bird

Philippine Eagle: 11 Facts About The National Bird Of The Philippines

The Filipino eagle, or monkey-eating eagle, is considered to be one of the rarest and most powerful birds in the world. The Southeast Asian country declared it its national bird and protects this endangered species at all costs, punishing those found guilty of killing with 12 years imprisonment or heavy fines. Below are 11 interesting facts about this majestic bird.

It can live up to 60 years

Filipino eagle in captivity | © Constantine Agustin / Wikimedia Commons

The life expectancy of the Philippine eagle is between 30 and 60 years. It was reported that two Filipino eagles had lived for more than 40 years - one of them died in October 2016. The adult Filipino female eagle named "Thor" (after the Norse god of thunder) died due to its age. Authorities believe her detention has made her condition worse. Hence, it is believed that the Filipino eagle can live longer if left in the wild.

The female Filipino eagle is usually larger

Philippine eagle in Davao City | © Jim de Francia / Flickr

The giant forest bird of prey is not only considered rare and strong, but also because of its length. It can grow up to 3 feet tall and its wingspan can be up to 7 feet. Average measurements among male and female Filipino eagles suggest that the female Filipino eagle can be 10% larger than its male counterpart. In terms of length, it is considered to be the largest surviving eagle in the world.

Monkeys don't actually eat it

Previous assumptions suggested that the Filipino eagle was also known as the monkey-eating eagle because it ate monkeys. Contrary to popular belief, the Philippine eagle does not eat monkeys. Recent studies suggest that it strikes a wide variety of animals, usually rodents, bats, snakes, and pigs.

It has excellent noise

The sounds made by a Filipino eagle are described as loud and shrill, suggesting its wild and territorial characteristics.

It has clearer eyesight than humans

Philippine Eagle up-close | © Sinisa Djordje Majetic / Flickr

The characteristics of a Filipino eagle are: long crown feathers, a massive arched beak, and two bluish eyes that are said to be very sharp. These birds have much clearer eyes than humans and have the ability to see eight times the distance that the human eye can see.

It is found in four major islands in the Philippines

It is only found in the Philippines, and can be spotted on four main islands. These are the islands of Leyte, Luzon, Mindanao and Samar. However, the Filipino eagle has been endangered for years due to gunfire and traps. Despite strict laws, there are still cases of Filipino eagles being shot in forests. The Philippine Eagle Center was set up as a conservation breeding station for this highly endangered bird of prey.

Dehydration is usually the cause of his death

The forest, especially lush, dense forests, is the home of the Filipino eagle. Despite the country's lush greenery, massive logging and irresponsible use of resources is killing the forests, killing the species' home. In addition to shooting and trapping, deforestation is also seen as a major cause of Philippine eagle death.

The Filipino eagle is monogamous and loyal

The Filipino eagle is reportedly very loyal. Once connected with a partner, they choose to stay as a couple for the rest of their lives. As for their offspring, a Filipino eagle lays only one egg every two years. And before they lay another egg, the parent eagles ensure that their offspring can survive on their own.

A British naturalist discovered the Filipino eagle in Davao City

Philippine eagle © Shankar S. / Flickr

It wasn't a Filipino or a local who discovered this mighty species of bird. British naturalist and explorer John Whitehead discovered the Filipino eagle in 1896 when he spotted the specimen in Paranas, Samar. In honor of his father, who funded his expeditions and explorations, the Filipino eagle was scientifically referred to as "Pithecophaga jefferyi" - where "Jefferyi" means Jeffrey (the father of John Whitehead).

It has no recognized subspecies

The Philippine eagle was declared the country's national bird in 1995. Proclamation No. 615, signed by former President Fidel Ramos, gave way to recognition of the species as the country's national bird. It was recognized as such because it is only found in the Philippines and according to the proclamation, its excellent qualities of strength and love of freedom exemplify the Filipino people. Unlike other birds of prey, the Filipino eagle has no close relatives or subspecies, which makes it very unique.

His point of view indicates a healthy environment

Many believe that sightings of a Filipino eagle suggest that it lives in the healthy state of the forest. In addition, its presence suggests that the ecosystem is balanced and having a healthy natural environment will minimize the effects of flooding and climate change.


Author: Bobby Schwartz

Bobby Schwartz is a 39 year old journalist. Free creator. Pop culture enthusiast. Wannabe Twitter guru. Coffee fanatic. Travel junkie. Incurable TV fan.