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Philippine Eagle - Pithecophaga jefferyi
Topic Started: Jan 8 2012, 11:58 PM (27,369 Views)
Taipan
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Philippine Eagle - Pithecophaga jefferyi

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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Falconiformes
Family: Accipitridae
Genus: Pithecophaga
Species: P. jefferyi

The Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) is the tallest, and one of the rarest, largest and most powerful birds in the world. This bird of prey, or raptor, belongs to the family Accipitridae. It is also known as "Haribon" or "Haring Ibon," meaning "Bird King." Its local name is banog.

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Morphology
The Philippine Eagle's head is adorned with long brown feathers. These feathers give it the appearance of a lion's mane, which in turn resembles the mythical gryphon. The back of the Philippine Eagle is brown, the underside white; the heavy legs are yellow with large, powerful claws; the prominent large, high-arched, deep bill is a bluish-gray, with blue-gray eyes. The average female is about 1 meter (3.3 ft) long, weighs about 7 kg (15.5 lb), and has a wingspan of 2 meters (6.7 ft). This makes the Philippine Eagle one of the world's largest eagles, with the largest wing surface area. The Harpy Eagle and Steller's Sea Eagle are about the same size as this species. The adult male is about 10-20% smaller and averages at about 5 kg (11 lbs). Life expectancy for a wild eagle is estimated to be around 30-60 years.

Distribution
The Philippine Eagle can be found in rainforests of four major Philippine islands - Luzon, Samar, Leyte and Mindanao; the largest number of eagles reside on Mindanao.

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Ecology, behavior and life history
Like most eagles, the Philippine Eagle is monogamous. A couple remains together for a lifetime. The nest is normally built on an emergent dipterocarp, or any tall tree with an open crown, and the nest may be nearly 3 meters across and about 30 meters above the ground. The female lays one egg. The parents will care for the egg and the young for twenty months, so they may breed only every other year.

Evolution upon these Philippine islands, without other predators, made the eagles the dominant hunter in the Philippine forests. Each breeding pair requires a large home range (of 25 to 50 square miles) to successfully raise a chick, and thus the species is extremely vulnerable to the regularly occurring deforestation.

Philippine Eagle's food habits vary from island to island, as the food habits of Philippine Eagles in Luzon have a different preference with the eagles in Mindanao. Because of the difference in terms of the faunal composition of Luzon and Mindanao, representing different faunal regions, the eagles there would definitely have a different diet regime. For example, flying lemurs, which are the preferred prey in Mindanao, are absent in Luzon.

Etymology and taxonomic history
The scientific name commemorates Jeffery Whitehead, father of the English explorer and naturalist John Whitehead, who collected the original specimen.

Upon discovery in 1896, it was first called the Monkey-eating Eagle, based on reports from natives that it preyed exclusively on monkeys; hence its generic name, from the Greek pithecus ("ape or monkey") and phagus ("eater of"). Later studies revealed, however, that they also prey on other animals such as colugo, civets, large snakes, monitor lizards, and even large birds like hornbills. This, 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, and soon after this name change (in 1995) it was declared a national emblem.

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Unique evolutionary history
A recent study of the Philippine Eagles' DNA suggests that the Philippine's national bird is one of a kind. Not only is it found nowhere else, it has a unique evolutionary history, clearly distinguishing it from other giant eagles once thought of as its immediate family. Scientists from the University of Michigan, in the USA, analyzed DNA isolated from blood samples of the Philippine Eagle and those of the Harpy Eagle and Crested eagles of the Americas and the New Guinea Harpy Eagle, all equal heavyweights of the bird world.

All of the last three giants named are close relatives as revealed by DNA sequences, but only remotely related to the Philippine Eagle. Dr. Mindell, the lead researcher, also said that all of the five traditional "harpy eagle group" members live in tropical forests, feeding mainly on medium-sized mammals.

"But based on the genetic analysis, the similarities between the Philippine Eagle and the other harpies resulted not from kinship but from convergent change, driven by natural selection for reproductive success in tropical forests and a shared taste for mammals," Dr. Mindell added. Mindell's team also found that the only distant relatives of Philippine Eagles are snake eagles found elsewhere in Southeast Asia and far Africa. In the Philippines, it is distantly related to the featherweight but equally imposing Serpent Eagle, which breeds in this country but is also common in Asia.

The study of Dr. Mindell's team passed expert reviews and was published in the scientific journal "Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution". A review of the study is here.

Conservation
Sir Arny, a Philippine Eagle, The Philippine Eagle Center, Malagos, Baguio District, Davao City, PhilippinesThe 2007 IUCN Red List Category (as evaluated by BirdLife International - the official Red List Authority for birds for IUCN) included it as Critically Endangered.

Charles Lindbergh, best known for crossing the Atlantic in 1927, was fascinated by this eagle. As a representative of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) he travelled to the Philippines several times between 1969 and 1972, where he helped persuade the government to protect the eagle.

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Its numbers have slowly dwindled over the decades with only an estimated 500 pairs left. A series and floods and mud slides, caused by deforestation, further devastated the remaining population. The Philippine Eagle may soon no longer be found in the wild, unless direct intervention is taken. The Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) of Davao City is one such organization dedicated to the protection and conservation of the Philippine Eagle and its forest habitat. In fact, PEF has been successfully breeding Philippine Eagles in captivity for over a decade now and has also conducted the first experimental release of a captive-bred eagle to the wild. Ongoing research on behavior, ecology and population dynamics is also underway.In recent years protected lands have been established. Cabuaya Forest, at 173,000 acres, is one that specifically protects the eagle.

On August 11, 2007, a breeding pair of Philippine Eagles were discovered nesting in Zamboanga del Norte, and were doing (mutual soaring) courtship flying displays above an old nest tree in Barangay Linay, Baliguian. As of August 2007, the egg was expected to be laid on September, 2007. The Linay nesting site is the lowest recorded for Philippine Eagles in Mindanao (369 meters above sea level); the DENR declared it as a Philippine Eagle "critical habitat" through RA 9147 or the Philippine Wildlife Act. As of September 2007, the Philippine Department of Tourism will construct a new lounge at the Philippine Eagle Center at Baguio district, Davao.

On December 7, 2007, the 22nd eagle bred in captivity at the Philippine Eagle Center, Mindanao hatched, second since 2004.[5] At 11:35 a.m., January 6, 2006, the 20th eagle chick hatched since the Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) first successfully bred Philippine Eagles at the Center in 1992. It is a sibling to the only other Philippine Eagle produced for the season, Chick #19 which hatched on November 25. The chicks are the offspring of Princess Maasim and Tsai, one of 3 natural eagle pairs at the Philippine Eagle Center
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Taipan
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The largest Eagle In the World

Compare the measurements of the Philippine Eagle (Haring Ibon) to other large Eagles.

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Total Length (from tip of bill to tip of longest tail feather):
1. Haring Ibon (average) = 1021 mm or 1.021 meter
2. Harpy Eagle (average) = 900.75 mm or 0.90075 meter
3. Golden Eagle (single) = 884 mm
4. Kenyan Eagle (single) = 855 mm
5. American Bald Eagle (single) = 829 mm

Bill Gape
1. Haring Ibon = 73.66 mm
2. American Bald Eagle = 71 mm
3. Harpy Eagle = 64.75 mm
4. Golden Eagle = 60 mm
5. Kenyan Eagle = 55 mm

Bill Culmen
1. Haring Ibon = 72.33 mm
2. Harpy Eagle = 51 mm
3. American Bald Eagle = 50 mm
4. Golden Eagle = 45 mm
5. Kenyan Eagle = 45 mm

Bill Height
1. Haring Ibon = 50.66 mm
2. Harpy Eagle = 36 mm
3. American Bald Eagle = 33 mm
4. Kenyan Eagle = 33 mm
5. Golden Eagle = 27 mm

Tarsus (Foot length)
1. Haring Ibon = 145 mm
2. Harpy Eagle = 121.25 mm
3. Kenyan Eagle = 115 mm
4. Golden Eagle = 110 mm
5. American Bald Eagle = 95 mm

Talon (Hind toe claw)
1. Harpy Eagle = 64.75 mm
2. Kenyan Eagle = 62 mm
3. Haring Ibon = 55.66 mm
4. Golden Eagle = 55 mm
5. American Bald Eagle = 39 mm

Wing Chord
(from bend or shoulder to tip of longest primary feather)
1. Golden Eagle = 654 mm
2. Haring Ibon = 608.66 mm
3. American Bald Eagle = 570 mm
4. Kenyan Eagle = 545 mm
5. Harpy Eagle = 544.75 mm

The Haring Ibon tops in 5 of the 7 external measurements, namely, total length, bill gape, culmen, bill height and tarsus. The Harpy tops in 1 out of 7 measurements, namely the talon. In the wing measurement or wing chord, Haring Ibon is only second but Harpy Eagle is fifth.

http://www.haribon.org.ph/?q=node/view/117



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Taipan
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blueagle
 
The great Philippine eagle one of the Largest and most powerful eagles in the world.

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Mulawin
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Edited by Mulawin, Jan 19 2012, 04:53 PM.
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JaM
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Impressive bill. Too bad they didn't include the measurements of the Steller's sea eagle.
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Mulawin
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Rare Philippine eagles spotted in Apayao

Sightings of a pair of Philippine eagles (Pithecophaga jefferyi) and their offspring were recorded during a two-week expedition that began Nov. 6 in Calanasan town in Apayao province. Link:Philippine eagle

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Philippine Eagle perched on the crown of the tallest tree atop Mount Mamukaw.


Edited by Mulawin, Mar 30 2012, 03:15 PM.
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Mulawin
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The eagle keeper who almost got killed by the eagle ...

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"It was only through happenstance that Tadena began working with eagles. In 1976, the Bureau of Forest Development decided to build a rehabilitation centre for confiscated Philippine eagles in Mount Apo National Park, 37 kilometres west of Davao. Tadena was originally hired as a carpenter. However, when the eagle keeper left, Tadena took his place.

Tadena experienced first-hand how dangerous his charges could be one day in 1981. As he entered a female bird's cage, he heard a warning shout from a colleague. Instinctively he turned, raising his right hand to his face. The eagle swooped down - one of her talons ripped into his neck and cheek, the other fastened round his hand.

Tadena dropped to the ground. The talon in his face came free, but the other was locked on his hand, with a claw spearing his little finger through his protective glove. Colleagues, holding the eagle still, could not remove the claw using pliers. The centre's staff finally tricked the eagle into releasing its grip by covering its eyes so it would open its claws ready to defend itself.

"You're lucky the talons missed your throat, or you might have been killed," a doctor later told Tadena."

Link- read more...

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Ophiophagy
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hang on the foot size of this eagle is larger than the harpy but talon size is the size of a golden?
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Mulawin
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Talon size are relatively large.

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Ophiophagy
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yes but much smaller than the crowneds talon
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Mulawin
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I think not. Crowned is only half the size of Harpy and Philippine eagle -has the longest legs and claws that could almost wrap around a human neck . :)

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Edited by Mulawin, Mar 26 2012, 03:39 PM.
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Ophiophagy
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they measured the crowned eagles talon was longer look above the philippine eagle is like a goldens
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Mulawin
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You were the talking about the data above? yes, But you might want to see the raw data collected from the Philippine eagles above most of which are male and immature as compared to the lone Crowned eagle specie which has a 62 mm long talon. also Golden eagle (female) had only 1 specimen available in the experiment So It's not that conclusive.

As a basis Take a look of both immature male Harpy and Philippine eagle 55 and 54 mm for comparison although some of the specimen were not properly identified IF male or female... The female Harpy obviously had a long hind talon of 77 mm.

Pithecophaga jefferyi (Talon - 54 mm)
(Philippine Eagle)
FMNH # 227023
(immature male)
April 19, 1956

Harpia harpyja (Talon - 55 mm)
(Harpy Eagle)
FMNH# 246538
(immature male)

Harpia harpyja (Talon- 77) (Harpy Eagle)
FMNH# 260141
(Female)

Stephanaeetus coronatus (Talon- 62 mm)
(Kenyan Eagle)
FMNH#192306
(Male)

Aquila chrysaetos Talon - 55 mm
(Golden Eagle)
FMNH#101184
(Female)


The experiment above was meant only for Harpy and Philippine eagle which both have many specimen to get the average length than the other eagle specie, 3 specimen for Philippine eagle and 4 specimen for the Harpy eagle. I think It's not that accurate.

They should have got a balance number of specimen of each specie with of the same age and gender to have a more accurate average result, But unfortunately they can only work on to what is available in the museum.

Source: Link

Edited by Mulawin, Apr 6 2012, 05:47 PM.
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Mulawin
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Link:PhilEagle


Edited by Mulawin, May 28 2012, 08:01 PM.
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Mulawin
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Philippime Eagle genetic differences subject of new research

DAVAO CITY May 30 (PIA) -- Are all Philippine eagles the same?

A research is being planned to see if there are genetic differences or mutation between Philippine Eagles (Pithecophaga jefferyi) in Mindanao and those found in Luzon.

Dennis Salvador, president of the Philippine Eagle Foundation said that scientists are trying to look at the genetic variations of the Philippine Eagles found in the different islands of the Philippine Archipelago.

The research will be conducted by the University of the Philippines Institute of Biology and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Scientists believe that there are genetic differences between the eagles because of the long isolation between the eagle populations of Mindanao and Luzon, Salvador said. However he added that that there is no or a slight difference in the appearance of Philippine Eagle found in Luzon and those in Mindanao.

They are looking at the angle of dietary variations as eagles from Mindanao and Visayas have flying lemurs (Cynocephalus volans) as staples of their diet while there are no flying lemurs in Luzon. Salvador said adding that they are still researching on the food habits of Philippine Eagles in Luzon.

Philippine Eagles have been discovered in the Sierra Madre ranges and just last year was also found to inhabit the Cordilleras with the discovery of living species in Apayao.

It is estimated that there are 400 pairs of Philippine Eagles left in the wild. Most of the eagle are well distributed in the island of Mindanao, according to Salvador the highest concentration of the eagles are found in the Eastern Mindanao corridor and in Bukidnon, places still with extensive forest cover.

Salvador however said that eagle populations in these parts of Mindanao are threatened by habitat destruction particularly with the advent of logging and mining operations in these areas.

Aside from the eagles in the wild there are 35 Philippine Eagles in captivity all kept in Davao City inside the sprawling Philippine Eagle Center in Malagos operated by the Philippine Eagle Foundation which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this 2012. (PIA/RG Alama)
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Edited by Mulawin, Apr 21 2013, 12:55 PM.
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