Camera captures rare young Philippine Eagle in the wild


The Philippine Eagle’s wing span of 7 feet is world’s broadest. In an INQUIRER file photo, Pag-asa, a Philippine Eagle bred in captivity at a sanctuary in Davao City shows off. Just recently, a “juvenile” Philippine Eagle was recently sighted and photographed at the 3,720-hectare Taft Forest Wildlife (Philippine Eagle) Sanctuary in Taft, Eastern Samar, which is in the Samar Island Natural Park. EDDIE JUNTILLA/PHILIPPINE EAGLE

TACLOBAN CITY—A “juvenile” Philippine Eagle (Pithecphaga jefferyi) was recently sighted and photographed at the 3,720-hectare Taft Forest Wildlife (Philippine Eagle) Sanctuary in Taft, Eastern Samar, which is in the Samar Island Natural Park (SINP).

Ruth Francisco, a Manila-based member of the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines, said she saw and took a picture  of a Philippine Eagle on March 10 in the forest of Barangay San Gabriel located about 120 kilometers from Tacloban City.

Francisco, who has been been birding for two years, said she had seen other wild birds in flight and Philippine eagles in captivity, but this was the first time she saw a live Philippine Eagle in the wild.

It was perched on a tree branch about 100 meters from where she was standing, Francisco said.

Her brief encounter with the elusive national bird lasted about five minutes.

“It stayed there until three rufous hornbills flew by and perched in a nearby tree. The noise of the hornbills (seemed to have) disturbed the Philippine Eagle and it flew away,” she said.

According to Francisco, she went to the SINP to look for the Mindanao bleeding heart pigeon that is known to inhabit the area.

With SINP tour guide Joselito Sierra, she went into the forest on the morning of March 10. At 7:55 a.m. she heard sounds from a rufous hornbill.

Expecting the Mindanao bleeding heart pigeon to follow, she got her camera ready. But what came next was a raptor that suddenly perched in a leafless tree. She then realized that it was a Philippine Eagle.

“The presence of the Philippine Eagle is an indicator that we still have an ecologically balanced forest in Samar,” said Manolito D. Ragu, director of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Eastern Visayas (DENR-8).

He said there had also been reported sightings of the Philippine Eagle in Leyte.

The Philippine Eagle is endemic to the Philippines and can be found in eastern Luzon, Samar, Leyte and Mindanao.

Following the various sightings of the national bird in Samar, then President Joseph Estrada issued Proclamation No. 155 on July 31, 1999, establishing the 3,720-hectare Taft Forest Wildlife (Philippine Eagle) Sanctuary in the SINP. The park includes Mt. Nahulopan in Taft town.

The first Philippine Eagle was spotted in Samar  117 years ago by John Whitehead, an English explorer and naturalist. On June 13, 1896, Whitehead’s servant, Juan, brought him the first specimen of the “monkey-eating” eagle.

But it was later discovered that the raptor did not just eat monkey but also civets, large snakes, monitor lizards and flying lemur, among others. In 1978, the monkey-eating eagle was renamed the Philippine Eagle.

In 1995, the Philippine Eagle was named the national bird by President Fidel V. Ramos under Proclamation No. 615.

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Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • Ph_eagle

    So weird that the title shouts about the picture being captured (by Ruth) but not a single picture taken was posted here.

    • litenshadow

      i guess the fee was a bit stiff :)

      • Ruth Francisco

        No fee was asked. It was provided for free.

      • Ike

        then where is the picture???

      • Ph_eagle

        this news gave birth to another news. “Camera captures rare young Philippine Eagle in the wild but no pictures was shown” lol

  • boymanok

    hey, where’s the photograph?

  • MikeCrisologo

    Funny !!?? Bragging about a shot taken in the wilds but picture shown is an Eagle inside a cage .lol!

    • Loggnat

      hehehehe…. :)) why am I not surprised at all at the inconsistencies of the articles here. :)))

  • kurakut


  • litenshadow

    where’s proof of life :)

  • litenshadow

    I guess most posters here are either bird lovers or photographers but got disappointed like me :(

  • GKLer

    I was expecting photo of “rare Philippine eagle in the wild” to be a special soup dish not a bird in cage.

  • neo


  • wawa2172

    Well, its just a useless article. It is not true to its title, no picture presented, baka nawala yung film nang camera…hik hik hik. Common my favorite newspaper, huwag naman ganitong di makatutuhanang article. Parang katulad ito nang paid survey nang Team PNoy ah.

    • neo

      Kaw naman oh, bakit napunta sa survey eh agila ang pinag uusapan. Kunsabagay, naniniwalaako sa surveys. Peace.

      • wawa2172

        tama ka dre, I believe in survey too. Marami nang beses akong naguyo nito..he he he. Team Pnoy at UNA..tiyak puro panalo sila sa survey. But as far as the eagle article is concern dapat makakatuhanan and my favorite broad sheet should be part sa balitang totohanan.

  • lolong.buwaya

    100 meters daw ang layo .. kaya baka nagmukhang maya na lang si Pilipin egul…. pero egul siya promise..

  • lolong.buwaya

    parang new lolong capture in the wild.. then picture ng mga nasa senate at congress ang ilagagay.. hmmmm pwede!!!!


    YANG agila na yan ang kailangang ilagay sa Batasan…..para pagda-dagitin ang lahat ng mga TNL na mga DAGANG walang-sawang ngumangatngat sa kaban ng bayan

  • farmerpo

    Where where oh where is the picture? PDI has a premature ej ?

  • ernievictory

    i saw a dinosaur in my backyard ! will INQ cover this as a news sans any photo and other proofs . ridiculous , must be a slow news day !

  • Mang_Ben

    I was the second to post a comment here and the first one to ask about the
    missing picture of the ‘wild’ eagle.

    For some reason(s) unknown to me, my said comment disappeared.

    I am interested in that photo of an eagle ‘in the wild’, because I am a photographer.

  • Ruth Francisco

    I hope the editor will make the appropriate corrections to this article. Plus use the actual photo perhaps?

  • m1600


  • CyberPinoy

    Delikado yan national park nayan, if may recall a hunter in that area captured a PH Eagle and make it a tinola. Dapat ang gobyerno natin maghanap na ng malaking island at gawing uninhabited and plant trees to make a forested area, pag develop na ang forest gawin itong national park and all human habitations and activity there should be banned. kung baga very isolated island as a sactuary of animal wildlife and all endagered animals in PH, we have 7107 islands to choose. Kung minsan napakadali lang ng solusyon sa ibang problema ng pinas ang kaso yung mga public officials natin inuupuan ang problema at puro pangsarileng interest ang inaatupag.

  • CyberPinoy

    wheres the picture this article is talking about !

  • boybakal

    It’s a pity to see our Philippine Eagle.
    They eat the monkeys for there is nothing to eat.
    There is no room to fly, no forests to land, no mountain to see.
    Much more no food to eat.
    Poor Monkey eagle…why not migrate to Malaysia or Indonesia.

  • koolkid_inthehouse

    Is this a joke? hahahahahaha

  • asarin

    salamat kay enrile sa pag-aaruaga ng ating kagubatan. iboto natin ang kanyang anak na si jack enrile para lumawak pa ang ating kagubatan at dumami pa ang mga agila! lol….. hahahaha

  • sigbinko

    picture plsssssssssssssssss

  • Natx Bacalzo

    yeah, it all pictures no blah, blah.

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