Apayao: The Philippine Eagle's new home
After a four-year search, the first active nest of the Philippine eagle is found in Apayao. The Philippine Eagle Foundation discovered the nest last April.
The discovery of the nest, along with the parents and the eaglet, is an indication that there is still hope for the recovery of the Philippine eagle's population.
Pia Ranada reports.
In the mountain forests of Apayao, a bird of prey is making itself at home. In this nest high atop the trees is a lone 3-month-old Philippine eaglet.
After 4 years of searching through dense forests, the eaglet was discovered in April by the Philippine Eagle Foundation. It is the first active Philippine eagle nest found in mainland Luzon.
Dennis Salvador, Executive Director, Philippine Eagle Foundation: A hundred years since the species was discovered by a British ornithologist, no nest has ever been located or found here in Luzon so this discovery is very historic and it’s a landmark discovery for the species’ population.
Scientists have been observing the young bird for three months.
Jayson Ibañez, Biologist, Philippine Eagle Foundation: This tree blind is used by biologists. It’s the place where they observe the nest. The purpose is to hide or camouflage the biologist so they won’t be seen by nesting adults.
The results are fascinating.
Looking at the eaglet’s parents, it seems Luzon eagles behave a bit differently from their Mindanao counterparts. The Luzon eagles start nesting in January. This is much earlier than Mindanao eagles which usually nest in October.
Jayson Ibañez, Biologist, Philippine Eagle Foundation: We feel the timing of the breeding here in Luzon is to avoid the typhoon season.
They even adapt their nests to Luzon’s typhoons.
Jayson Ibañez, Biologist, Philippine Eagle Foundation: The edges of the nest bowl of this pair is totally covered except for just one spot which apparently is the entrance and exit area of the nesting adults. We think maybe the camouflage or plants surrounding the edge is an adaptation against strong winds and typhoon also because in Luzon, there is a clear typhoon season.
Biologist Tatiana Abaño spends entire days studying the young eaglet.
Tatiana Abaño, Biologist, Philippine Eagle Foundation: There are also times when the eaglet spends its time doing flapping exercises. Which is a good sign of its developing skills in doing mock killing activities.
The discovery of the nest is a nod to local conservation efforts.
Tatiana Abaño, Biologist, Philippine Eagle Foundation: It is an indication that of course that there is still hope for the population to recover in the near future if we are all to act and work to eventually help the population recover.
As the eaglet learns to spread its wings, there is hope that the Philippine Eagle population will soar to new heights.
Pia Ranada, Rappler, Apayao.