The Philippine eagle is the country’s national bird, but it’s curious to know that it is critically endangered, with only about 500 surviving in the wild. That may change as the Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) has successfully hatched another one of the world’s rarest and more powerful birds.
The latest eaglet is the 26th to be hatched as part of the foundation’s breeding program, which began in 1992.
According to PEF curator Anna Mae Sumaya, the latest eaglet is the result of the breeding between MVP Eagle and Go Phoenix, a male and female bird. The little eagle is the pair’s first fertile egg and offspring since they became partners two years ago.
According to Sumaya, the team assisted in hatching but the eaglet did it on its own later. It hatched on December 7 after being in an incubator for 56 days.
“It’s also very active – very attentive and observant of its surroundings. The chick responds to some bird calls heard from the background,” she added.
PEF Executive Director Dennis Salvador said that this hatching could rekindle the hope for the flourishing of the species and that it could bring a new generation that could add to the wild population.
The foundation said this hatching is “our gift to the Filipino people and the rest of the world this Christmas.”
The Philippine eagle was declared by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and BirdLife International as critically endangered in 2010. The decimation of the species is due to logging and expanding agriculture.
PEF first produced an eaglet through natural pairing in 1999. A few birds have been released into the wild, but one died of accidental electrocution in 2005 and another was killed and eaten by a farmer in 2008.
What should we name this new eaglet? Share your suggestions below!