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Philippine Eagle Facts

Common Name(s): Monkey-Eating Eagle, Great Philippine Eagle

Scientific Name: Pithecophaga jefferyi

Approximate Wing Span: 2 meters (6.6 ft)

Approximate Life Span: 30 to 60 years

Natural Habitat: Deep Philippine forests

Habitat & Description

The Philippine Eagle is one of the most magnificent birds of prey on Earth. Residing in the Philippines on the eastern Luzon, Samar, Leyte and Mindanao islands, this massive dark brown and white raptor is known to soar in gallery forest and steep terrain. Even though it weighs up to 7 kgs and has a long wingspan, this bird of prey is incredibly agile capable of whipping from one tall tree to the next snatching prey.

To accurately identify one of these beasts, look for the spikey headdress of feathers located along the neck of the eagle. These feathers are known to resemble a tiger’s mane. You can also identify the Philippine Eagle by its 3 foot standing yellow legs with huge dark claws.

Unfortunately, due to forest destruction, fragmentation and hunting, this beautiful bird is considered endangered. The constant logging and development in the Philippines has pushed the National Bird of the Philippines out of its natural habitat. While this bird struggles to thrive, conservationists have been striving to provide the eagle with a natural home to protect it against absolute extension.

Food & Hunting

There are many myths about the eating habits of the Philippine Eagle. Also recognized as the Monkey-Eating Eagle, this raptor has been known to snatch up monkeys and devour them. However, this myth has never been proven. Realistically, these birds commonly prey on small feeder rodents like mice and rats as well as flying squirrels and other smaller birds of prey. This bird has also been rumored to attack domestic animals such as dogs, young goats and pigs. There has even been accounts of this bird snatching up small children!

Behavior & Habits

The Philippine Eagle was able to evolve into such a beautiful creature because there were no other predators that existed in the Philippine Islands. When these raptors find a mate or breeding partner, they usually require a 25 to 50 mile home range to effectively raise their young. Juvenile Philippine Eagles tend to have a playful behavior full of attacking inanimate objects, hanging upside down and practicing hunting.

As stated, Philippine Eagles usually eat small mammals in the wild. Thus, when these eagles are rescued they usually are fed thawed frozen mice and rats.


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