Fun Philippine Eagle Facts For Kids

Oluniyi Akande
Apr 27, 2023 By Oluniyi Akande
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Jacob Fitzbright
Fact-checked by Shray Sharma
Philippine eagle facts, this is a monkey-eating eagle.
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 8.3 Min

If you are a bird watcher and show interest in watching the exotic wild birds in their natural habitat, the Philippines islands should be on your list of places to visit. And do not miss visiting this place for all other things but, most importantly, watching one of the most powerful eagles, the Philippine eagle. Sighting this bright and large bird is a breathtaking experience. And if at all you are lucky enough, you may get a chance to watch this bird hunting its prey in the forest, which is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Philippine eagles are on top of the predation pyramid and are robust hunters. They are territorial, but these birds stick together as partners and are monogamous. They rear their young ones together and do not breed again until they are independent enough to be on their own. Known as the monkey-eating eagle, this bird is a symbol of power.

This national bird of the Philippines is a giant forest raptor. Despite being a bird of prey, the Philippine eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) is a Critically Endangered species. Not because they have any natural predators but because of humans. Unfortunately, these Philippine eagles have become helpless and need to be protected before these remaining large, powerful birds get extinct from this earth.

Go through this article to know more and also enjoy learning about toco toucans and blue and yellow macaws.

Philippine Eagle Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Philippine Eagle?

The Philippine eagle is one of the largest and most magnificently powerful eagle species in the world. They sit high on the predation pyramid and are an important part of the ecosystem. The bird is a fantastic predator. These birds can be seen from lowlands to a height of about 5900 feet above sea level. They are primarily found in the island forests of the Philippines.

What class of animal does a Philippine Eagle belong to?

A Philippine eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) belongs to the Aves class. The species of the family Accipitridae with strongly hooked bills. They are part of the order Accipitriformes, including hawks, eagles, kites, and vultures.

How many Philippine Eagles are there in the world?

The Philippine eagles are one of the rarest large birds in the world. The population of this bird is less than five hundred birds on record. The Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF), which has been actively working on the conservative front for more than thirty years, estimates only 400 of these birds are in the world as of 2020. Habitat loss is the major cause of the decrease in the population of this magnificent species.

Where does a Philippine Eagle live?

Philippine eagles are endemic to the Philippines, a group of many islands. The species is found primarily in the forest of four islands, namely, Eastern Luzon Island, Samar Island, Leyte Island, and Mindanao Island. The majority of these birds are found on Mindanao Island. While the population is fewer on other islands. This is the national bird of the Philippines.

What is a Philippine Eagle’s habitat?

The habitat of a Philippine eagle is in the montane forest areas and the mountains. They are found in dense tropical rainforests. Most of the time, these birds spend their time in the trees. The species primarily lives in the forests and can build its nest in mid-elevation or lowland forest areas. Because of the clearance of these forest areas, the remaining birds are forced to move farther into the mountains.

Who does Philippine Eagle live with?

Philippine eagles are solitary birds and territorial. After pairing, they stick together for a lifetime until one of them dies, and in such a situation, they may pair up with another one. They are top predators and live with other animals in the wild.

How long does a Philippine Eagle live?

The lifespan of a Philippine eagle is more than 30-40 years if left in the wild. In captivity, life expectancy increases, and the longest-lived bird on record is 46 years old. In addition, the breeding of these endangered species in captivity has boosted their population.

How do they reproduce?

The Philippine eagle reproduces by sexual reproduction. The female reaches sexual maturity at the age of five, and the male bird reaches sexual maturity at seven years of age. They build their nests on trees and need a large area to rear their young ones. A female lays a single egg in the nest after breeding. Both partners incubate the egg for around two months. After the eaglet hatches out, the male eagle does the hunting and feeds the young for more than a month while the female sticks around the nest, protecting it. But as such, the eaglet stays with its parents for more than a year and a half before being on its own. This is the reason this eagle species' breeding season is in alternate years. And the rate of growth in their population is also low since birds lay a single egg only in alternate years. They are monogamous species and mate for a lifetime. And if one of the partners dies for some reason, they search for a new mate.

What is their conservation status?

According to the IUCN Red List, the conservation status of the Philippine eagle is Critically Endangered. At the top of the food chain, the species are an important part of the ecosystem creating a subtle balance in its territory. Humans are the major threat to this species. Massive deforestation in their range has been done, causing the population decline of these birds due to habitat loss. The killing of this bird is a punishable offense in the Philippines.

Philippine Eagle Fun Facts

What do Philippine Eagles look like?

Philippine eagle facts for kids.

A Philippine eagle has distinguishable long crown feathers forming a crest. The bird has sharp bluish eyes and a large arched beak. The plumage is rich brown overall, and the feathers are pale towards the end. The wing underparts are also creamy white. The legs are strong with large claws. The bird looks beautiful with a contrasting white belly and yellow feet, and powerful dark claws.

How cute are they?

The Philippine eagle is a magnificent bird. It is strikingly awesome. The bird is very agile and fast in the air. They are beautiful with long brown and white feathers. The forest-dwelling raptors of the wild are ferocious hunters.

How do they communicate?

Philippine eagles are loud birds. They communicate via vocal cues. The eagle’s noises are heard even at long distances. The birds use different vocal cues to communicate. Even the young of this species make high-pitched sounds when demanding food. During courtships, the birds are involved in different types of physical displays and flights. The partners also hunt in a coordinated way, one diverting the prey and the other killing it.

How big is a Philippine Eagle?

In terms of length and wingspan, this species is one of the largest eagles in the world. It is 2.1-3.4 ft (64–104 cm) long. Typically a female is observed to be larger than the male.

How fast can a Philippine Eagle move?

This bird is an agile flier and can fly at a speed of 49.7 mph (80 kph). Moreover, the bird is said to take on unsuspecting prey without breaking its flight, which is a spectacular thing in itself.

How much does a Philippine eagle weigh?

The females, as mentioned earlier, are heavier than males. An adult female weighs around 13.2 lb (6.5kg), and an adult male weighs around 9.9 lb (4.5kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names for the species based on their sex. There are multiple collective nouns for eagles, including aerie, convocation, congress, spread, tower, and jubilee.

What would you call a baby Philippine Eagle?

No, a specific term is not given to Philippine eagle’s young ones. In general, young eagles are called eaglets. The young stay around the nest for around one and a half years before leaving to live independently.

What do they eat?

The Philippine eagle is at the top of the food chain and is a large raptor. They don’t have natural predators. These birds of prey are carnivorous, and these birds’ diet includes many animals. They prey on rats, snakes, lizards, small birds, and bats. These powerful birds also hunt animals like palm civets, flying squirrels, and macaques or monkeys in their range. Yes, this is a monkey-eating eagle.

Are they poisonous?

No, they are not poisonous. These are birds of prey and voracious hunters.

Would they make a good pet?

No, the species are large wild raptors and are not taken in as a pet. Due to the decline in their population, breeding of this bird is done in captivity. The birds are also protected under Philippine law, and hunting them is a punishable offense. The Philippine Eagle Conservation Program takes measures to educate the people and build the required awareness for protecting the range of the habitat of this bird.

Did you know...

The Philippine eagle is the national bird of the Philippines. In 1995, this was officially declared by the then-President, Fidel V. Ramos.

The bird symbolizes the Filipino people’s strength, uniqueness, and power for their love for freedom.

These birds' eyesight is eight times more powerful than human eyesight.

It is unique as compared to other raptors as it does not have any sub-species.

Do Philippine eagles eat monkeys?

Yes, Philippine eagles are intelligent enough to outwit and ambush monkeys. Hence its name, the monkey-eating eagle. These birds of prey are indisputably one of the world’s most powerful eagles famous for killing Red Howler monkeys. They also prey on sloths and are known to kill young deer.

How to save the Philippine eagle?

It is a harsh and saddening fact that humans are the reason for the decline in the population of these birds. The Philippine eagle is losing its natural habitat because of deforestation for commercial developments in its habitat. Hunting their national bird was made illegal in the Philippines. Almost 40,000 hectares of forest area are destroyed in the Philippines every year for timber extraction and unsustainable farming and mining practices. This has to be checked, and proper regulations are to be brought in place by a proper collaboration of wildlife conservationists and the government authorities in the Mindanao island forests to have these endangered powerful bird species on the globe.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds including Eagle Facts and Hawk Facts.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Philippine Eagle coloring pages.

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Written by Oluniyi Akande

Doctorate specializing in Veterinary Medicine

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Oluniyi AkandeDoctorate specializing in Veterinary Medicine

With an accomplished background as a Veterinarian, SEO content writer, and public speaker, Oluniyi brings a wealth of skills and experience to his work. Holding a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Ibadan, he provides exceptional consulting services to pet owners, animal farms, and agricultural establishments. Oluniyi's impressive writing career spans over five years, during which he has produced over 5000 high-quality short- and long-form pieces of content. His versatility shines through as he tackles a diverse array of topics, including pets, real estate, sports, games, technology, landscaping, healthcare, cosmetics, personal loans, debt management, construction, and agriculture.

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