Philippine Eagles (Lifespan, Size, Habitat and Facts)

Philippine Eagles

The Philippine Eagle naturally conjures awe mixed with curiosity. What else would you say of an eagle named the Philippines National Bird in 1995 with no more than 400 nesting pairs remaining globally?

Sporting a daring dark face adorned with a brownish cream crown and a high-arching bluish-gray beak, this eagle exudes authority and beauty. This bird can weigh as much as 17.6 lb and is yet remarkably agile. In contrast to the generality of raptors, the Philippine Eagle has no close relatives. This all the more enhances the peculiarity of this beautiful bird.

Of course, you should be drooling to learn more about the Philippine Eagle. How long does it live? Is it the largest eagle on Earth? What does it eat? Does any other animal have the guts to prey on this avian behemoth? These and many more interesting facts we will learn about the Philippine Eagle in this article.

How Long Do Philippine Eagles Live?

The Philippine Eagle has an incredibly long lifespan. If the conditions are suitable, this bird can live as long as 60 years. The minimum these birds are known to live is 30 years.

To further excite you, a captive Philippine Eagle was procured by the Rome Zoo when it was already an adult. This eagle would go on to live another 41 years in the zoo. Amazing, isn’t it?

How Big is the Philippine Eagle?

This bird is massive. This bird’s body length can grow as much as 102cm, while its wingspan alone can be as long as 1.9 m. Female Philippine Eagles are bigger than the males, with the males coming around 95cm in body length.

Is the Philippine Eagle the Largest Eagle in the World?

This is a raging argument. When measured based on combined wing surface and length, only the Steller’s Sea Eagle and Harpy Eagle can rival the Philippine Eagle in size and weight.

How High Can Philippine Eagle Fly?

With such an enormous size, the Philippine Eagle is yet an avid flyer and a daring lover of heights. This eagle can fly as high as 10,000 feet without exhausting itself.

What is the Habitat Of Philippine Eagle?

As you can easily infer from its name, this eagle is native to the Philippines. This eagle inhabits the Mindanao, Samar, Leyte, and Luzon islands.

Mindanao Island has the largest population of the Philippine Eagle. An estimated 82-233 breeding pairs of the 400 left alive are found on that island. Luzon holds no pair, Samar holds 6 pairs, with Leyte having 2.

Are Philippine Eagles Monogamous?

If you are looking for inspiration for happily-ever-after relationships, look no further than the Philippine Eagle. This bird is religiously monogamous. This Eagle chooses just one mate and stays with that partner for life.

For such buoyant relationships, courtship takes an extra effort on the part of the male. The male would need to win its female partner with its nest-building capacity amid other impressive aerial displays.

How Many Eggs Does a Philippine Eagle Lay?

The female Philippine Eagle lays just one egg at a time. But to produce this egg, it would take a female Philippine Eagle and its partner anywhere from 2-3 years.

After laying this egg, both parents would have to incubate it for an average of 62 days (sometimes spilling into 68 days or as short as 58 days). This incubation obligation is a full-time commitment spanning both day and night, although the female shoulders the larger bulk of this obligation duty.

What Does the Philippine Eagle Eat?

Commonly named the monkey-eater, the misconception has been swaying that these eagles are avid monkey hunters. But no, their meals are not exclusive to monkeys (and monkeys are not even their favorite dish).

This eagle has a broad range of food, cutting across flying squirrels, hunt bats, macaques, lizards, civets, snakes, and even other birds. The Philippine Eagle bases its diet regimen around the availability of food in the island it inhabits.

Nevertheless, the Philippine Eagle is a skillful hunter. Often it hunts in pairs. An amusing example of division of labor, one of the hunting pair would distract the unfortunate prey, with the other party attacking the distracted prey from its rear.

What Animal Eats Philippine Eagle?

Deserving of its strength, speed, and aerial expertise, the Philippine Eagle is top of its food chain. Except for humans, no known animal alive has acquired the effrontery to attack the Philippine Eagle.

Are Philippine Eagles Dangerous?

Philippine Eagles barely hunt humans. The majority of its diet is sourced from hunting animals like small antelopes, jackals, hyraxes, or even snatching fish from the surface of water bodies.

Also, given their population has drastically reduced over the years, the chances of running into a Philippine Eagle outside its protected habitat are scarce.

When was the Philippine Eagle Discovered?

Although native to the Philippines, it was a British naturalist that discovered this mighty eagle. A diligent conquistador, John Whitehead was said to first discover the Philippine Eagle in 1896, locating the specimen in Samar.

In acknowledgment of his father, Jeffery, who generously bankrolled his explorations, John would slap a botanical name of Pithecophagaj efferyi on the Philippine Eagle.

Reasons Why the Philippine Eagle is Endangered?

It is no doubt alarming that only 400 nesting pairs of these beautiful birds are left alive today. But how did we get here?

In the good old days, this eagle was a constant sight at almost every Philippine island. But successive waves of deforestation and targeted hunting have dramatically reduced the population of this bird.

Since the 1970s, 7 of every 10 major forests in the Philippines have been cleared owing to aggressive agricultural (and urban) expansion. Such loss of territory and increased exposure to human populations have forced this eagle to recede higher into the mountains.

What more, islands like Luzon are prone to ecological mishaps like strong typhoons. Civil unrest in regions closer to the islands (these eagles inhabit) has not helped matters. Militants have built massive economic enterprises from illegal logging in the Mindanao region.

For all these troubles, the Philippine Eagle has been listed in IUCN Red List Categories of endangered species.

Which is Stronger, Harpy Eagle or Philippine Eagle?

Indeed, we can’t authoritatively establish a winner between the Philippine Eagle and the Harpy Eagle in terms of strength. Both birds are monsters in their respective rights when it comes to raw power and size. The Philippine Eagle is a bit bigger than its Harpy counterpart. The former boasts an enormous size of 3.4 feet while the Harpy comes a bit under at 3.2 feet.

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