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Philippine Eagle
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Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Clade: Inopinaves
Clade: Afroaves
Superorder: Accipitrimorphae
Order: Accipitriformes
Family: Accipitridae
Subfamily: Circaetinae
Genus: Pithecophaga
Ogilvie-Grant, 1897
Species: P. jefferyi
Binomial name
Pithecophaga jefferyi
Ogilvie-Grant, 1897

The Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi), also known as the Monkey-eating Eagle, is an eagle of the family Accipitridae that is endemic to the rainforests in the Philippines.[2] Affinities uncertain. Recent molecular study suggested that it may be sister to Circaetus.[3] Monotypic.[4]

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Other common names Monkey-eating Eagle, Great Philippine Eagle
Click for etymology

From Greek πιθηκοφαγος pithēkophagos ape-eating < πιθηκοφαγεω pithēkophageō to eat ape flesh < πιθηκος pithēkos ape; φαγος phagos glutton < φαγειν phagein to eat;[5] Jeffrey Whitehead (d. 1909) English stockbroker, father of explorer John Whitehead.[6]


It has been declared the Philippine national bird.[7] It is critically endangered, mainly due to massive loss of habitat due to deforestation in most of its range. Killing a Philippine Eagle is punishable under Philippine law by twelve years in jail and heavy fines.[8] Attempts are being made to breed the eagle in captivity, but with a rapidly shrinking habitat, its future looks uncertain.[9]

Description

This magnificent eagle is one of the rarest and most endangered birds of prey in the world,[2] with an estimated population of 226 birds.[1] One of the largest of the world's birds of prey, they measure 90–100 cm (35–39 in); 4,700–8,000 g (10.4–17.6 lb); with a wingspan of 184–202 cm (72–80 in),[4] sexes alike, but females are larger than males.[10]
This rain forest eagle has the typical shape of a forest-dwelling raptor: their wings are large with broad, rounded tips and the tail is long; this combination provides speed and agility when the bird manoueuvres amongst the branches.[10] It has brown and white-coloured plumage, and a shaggy crest.

Behaviour

At times, the eagle is seen soaring over the forest, but it hunts mainly in the trees, moving from branch and pausing to watch for prey.[2][10] It also hunts from a perch in the trees.[2] The species is sedentary (non-migratory).[4][10]

Diet

It takes forest animals such as monkeys,[2][10] flying lemurs (colugos),[2][10] and they are large enough to take down birds up to hornbill size[2][10] and small deer,[2] hence its alternate name, the Monkey-eating Eagle.[10] Snatches monkeys from a low-level attacks.[9]

Calls

They utter long, drawn-out whistles that seem weak for such a large and powerful bird.[10]

Reproduction

The nest is a bulky structure of sticks and twigs, lined and placed in the fork of a large branch in a tree rising above the surrounding rain forest. A single egg is laid, and the species probably nests only every second year.[10]

Distribution/habitat

Now restricted to a few patches of rainforest on some of the Philippine islands,[2] such as Mindanao[11] in heavy forest from 500–4,000 ft (150–1,220 m).[11];

References

  1. ^ a b BirdLife International (2008). "Pithecophaga jefferyi". 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 29 May 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Dr Peterson, Russell W. (1991). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Birds: The Definitive Reference to Birds of the World. Prentice Hall Direct. ISBN 0130836354. 
  3. ^ Lerner, H.R.L. & Mindell, D.P. (2005) Phylogeny of eagles, Old World vultures, and other Accipitridae based on nuclear and mitochondrial DNA. Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 37(2): 327–346.
  4. ^ a b c Clark, W.S., Sharpe, C.J., Boesman, P. & Marks, J.S. (2020). Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from https://www.hbw.com/node/53152 on 24 April 2020).
  5. ^ Jobling, J. (2015). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.), eds. "Pithecophaga". Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. Retrieved 11-28-15.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  6. ^ Jobling, J. (2015). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.), eds. "jefferyi". Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. Retrieved 11-28-15.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  7. ^ Kennedy, R. S., P. C. Gonzales, E. C. Dickinson, H. C. Miranda, Jr., and T. H. Fisher (2000). A Guide to the Birds of the Philippines. Oxford University Press, New York. ISBN 0-19-854669-6
  8. ^ "Farmer arrested for killing, eating rare Philippines eagle: officials". AFP. 2008-07-18. Archived from the original on 2010-08-16. Retrieved 2009-01-07. 
  9. ^ a b Don E. Wilson (Author), David Burnie (Author) (2001). Animal: The Definitive Visual Guide to the World's Wildlife. Dorling Kindersley. ISBN 0789477645. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Harrison, Colin and Greensmith, Alan (1993). Birds of the World. Dorling Kindersley Inc. ISBN 1564582965. 
  11. ^ a b Campbell, Bruce (1974). The Dictionary of Birds in Color. Studio. ISBN 0907408079. 

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