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1None The Philippine Eagle on Sun Aug 23, 2009 12:58 am

imToph

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Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Falconiformes (or Accipitriformes, q.v.)
Family: Accipitridae
Genus: Pithecophaga, Ogilvie-Grant, 1897
Species: P. jefferyi

The Philippine Eagle, Pithecophaga jefferyi, also known as the Great Philippine Eagle, Haribon, or Monkey-eating Eagle, is a bird of prey belonging to the family Accipitridae and the world’s largest eagle. It is the only member of the genus Pithecophaga and is genetically believed to be most closely related to the snake eagles. The Philippine Eagle has a dark brown back and white underbelly. Its nape possesses long brown feathers that resemble a crest. The bill and talons are large. This eagle is endemic to the Philippines and can be found on four major islands: eastern Luzon, Samar, Leyte, and Mindanao, with most of the population living on Mindanao. It lives in dipterocarp and mid-montane forests, particularly in steep areas.

The Philippine Eagle eats flying lemurs, Asian Palm Civets, reptiles, birds, and occasionally monkeys. Pairs are known to hunt cooperatively, with one eagle distracting a group of monkeys while the other swoops in unnoticed for the kill. A pair requires a large expanse of territory of up to 130 square kilometers (50 sq mi). These eagles are believed to live for up to 60 years. Philippine Eagles mate for life and breeding occurs between September and February, depending on rainfall, prey accessibility, and which island the birds live on. Nests resemble huge platforms made of sticks. One egg is laid and incubation lasts for 58 to 68 days. The parents will care for their offspring for nearly twenty months.

This eagle is critically endangered, with only 180 to 500 birds surviving. Deforestation, pollution, and poaching are major threats. Charles Lindbergh led the first conservation efforts in the 1960’s. The Philippines have recognized the eagle as a national symbol, and major conservation efforts are currently underway.

The species was discovered in 1896 by the English explorer and naturalist John Whitehead, who observed the bird and whose servant, Juan, collected the first specimen a few weeks later. The skin of the bird was sent to William Robert Ogilvie-Grant in London in 1897, who initially showed it off in a local restaurant before describing the species a few weeks later.

Upon its discovery, the Philippine Eagle was called the Monkey-eating Eagle because of reports from natives that it preyed exclusively on monkeys; from these reports it gained its generic name Pithecophaga, from the Greek pithecus, meaning "ape or monkey," and phagus, meaning "eater of." The specific name commemorates Jeffery Whitehead, the father of John Whitehead. Later studies revealed, however, that the alleged Monkey-eating Eagle also ate other animals such as colugo, civets, large snakes, monitor lizards, and even large birds like hornbills. This discovery, coupled with the fact that the same name applied to the African Crowned Hawk-eagle and the South American Harpy Eagle, resulted in a presidential proclamation to change its name to Philippine Eagle in 1978. This species has no recognized subspecies.

Locally, the eagle is known as the "Haribon" or "Haring Ibon," which means "Bird King." It is also known as the "banog."

Evolutionary history

A 2007 study of the Philippine Eagle's DNA suggests that the bird has a unique evolutionary history. Its genetic sequence differs from those of other large eagles. Researchers from the University of Michigan analyzed the DNA isolated from blood samples of the Philippine Eagle and compared these sequences to those of the Harpy Eagle, Crested Eagle, and the New Guinea Harpy Eagle. These latter three are related genetically, but they are not closely related to the Philippine Eagle as previously thought. This belief arose because of their similar sizes, habitat, and habits; however, these similarities are now believed to be the result of convergent evolution. It is currently believed that the closest relative to the Philippine Eagle may be the much smaller snake eagles.

Reproduction

The complete breeding cycle of the Philippine Eagle lasts for two years. The female sexually matures at five years of age and the male seven. Like most eagles, the Philippine Eagle is monogamous. Once paired, a couple remains together for the rest of their lives. However, if one bird of a pair dies, the survivor often finds a new mate to replace the one lost.

The beginning of courtship is signaled by nest-building and the eagle remaining near its nest. Aerial displays also play a major role in the courtship. These displays include paired soaring over a nesting territory, the male chasing the female in a diagonal dive, and mutual talon presentation, where the male presents his talons to the female's back and she flips over in mid-air to present her own talons. Advertisement displays coupled with loud calling have also been reported. The willingness of an eagle to breed is displayed by the eagle bringing nesting materials to the bird's nest. Copulation follows and occurs repeatedly both on the nest and on nearby perches. The earliest courtship has been reported in July.
Philippine Eagle at nest

Breeding begins between September and February; birds on different islands, most notably Mindanao and Luzon, begin breeding at different ends of this range. The amount of rainfall and population of prey may also affect the breeding season. The nest is normally built on an emergent dipterocarp, or any tall tree with an open crown, in primary or disturbed forest and may be nearly 1.5 - 2.7 meters (5-8 feet) across and about 30 meters (99 ft) above the ground. The eagle's nest resembles a huge platform made of sticks. The eagle frequently reuses the same nesting site for several different chicks. Eight to ten days before the egg is ready to be laid, the female is afflicted with a condition known as egg lethargy. In this experience, the female does not eat, drinks lots of water, and holds its wings droopingly. The female typically lays one egg in the late afternoon or at dusk, although occasionally two have been reported. If an egg fails to hatch or the chick dies early, the parents will likely lay another egg the following year. Copulation may last a few days after the egg is laid to enable another egg to be laid should the first one fail. The egg is incubated for 58 to 68 days after being laid. Both sexes participate in the incubation, but the female does the majority of incubating during the day and all of it at night.

Both sexes help feed the newly hatched eaglet. Additionally, the parents have been observed taking turns shielding the eaglet from the sun and rain until it is seven weeks old. The young eaglet fledges after four or five months.[13] The earliest that a juvenile has been observed making a kill is 304 days after hatching. However, the parents will care of the eaglet for a total of twenty months.

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source: wikipedia.org


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2None Re: The Philippine Eagle on Wed Aug 26, 2009 2:00 pm

ultravanz58

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this may not be a good idea though but we may produce clones of the Philippine eagle or modify it to reproduce at a faster rate than its original reproduction rate.

But i doubt that this idea of mine would come true the Philippines cant afford such things = amaze

3None Re: The Philippine Eagle on Sun Aug 30, 2009 12:00 pm

imToph

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ultravanz58 wrote:this may not be a good idea though but we may produce clones of the Philippine eagle or modify it to reproduce at a faster rate than its original reproduction rate.

But i doubt that this idea of mine would come true the Philippines cant afford such things = amaze

No, Philippines can afford it, if the government wants.. But sadly, they focus on political agendas rather than the environment..


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4None Re: The Philippine Eagle on Sun Aug 30, 2009 5:51 pm

ultravanz58

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but some of those government people care for nature as well

Good News there are some who care

Bad News only some not all Sad

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