Philippine Eagle Week is celebrated from June 4 to June 10 every year. It is a week dedicated to celebrating one of the special creatures in the world, the Philippine eagle.
The Philippine eagle is also known as the monkey-eating eagle and is a critically endangered species. It can be found in forests in the Philippines. It has brown and white-colored plumage, a shaggy crest, measures between 2.82 to 3.35 feet in length, and weighs about 8.98 to 17.6 pounds. As this species is rare and endangered, it is important to set measures to preserve them and educate the public about them so we can have more generations of these special birds.
History of Philippine Eagle Week
The Philippine Eagle was first studied in 1896 by English explorer and naturalist, John Whitehead. He observed the bird alongside his servant and collected the first specimen. He then sent the skin of the bird to William Robert Ogilvie-Grant in London that same year. Robert showed it off in a local restaurant and moved on to describe the species a few weeks later.
After its discovery, the Philippine Eagle was called the ‘monkey-eating eagle’ as there were reports from the natives of Samar and Bonga, the eagle’s place of discovery, that it preyed exclusively on monkeys. It gave rise to the Philippine eagle’s generic name which stems from the Greek word ‘pithecus,’ meaning ‘ape or monkey,’ and ‘phagus’ meaning ‘eater of.’ The species’ name is derived from Jeffery Whitehead, the father of John Whitehead. After some time, studies began to reveal that the monkey-eating eagle ate other animals like large snakes, monitor lizards, and some large birds. The name ‘Philippine eagle’ was officially given to the animal by presidential proclamation in 1978 and it was declared a national emblem in 1995.
In terms of length and wing surface, the Philippine eagle is considered the largest of the extant eagle species. The Harpy eagle and the Steller’s sea eagle are larger in terms of bulk and weight. The Philippine eagle is now endangered due to hunting and the loss of its habitat due to deforestation. To combat this, the Philippines government banned the killing of the Philippine eagle and it is punishable by 12 years imprisonment and heavy fines. Not just the Philippines, but the world at large should join together to preserve the Philippine eagle for future generations.
Philippine Eagle Week timeline
The Philippine eagle is first studied by English explorer and naturalist, John Whitehead.
The skeletal features of the Philippine eagle are studied.
The name ‘Philippine eagle’ is officially given to the animal by presidential proclamation.
The Philippine eagle becomes a national emblem.
Philippine Eagle Week FAQs
How many Philippine eagles are left?
There are less than 400 breeding pairs left.
What is the significance of the Philippine eagle?
It represents the bravery and strength of the Filipino people.
How much weight can the Philippine Eagle carry?
Most of them can carry anything from five to six pounds from flat ground.
How to Observe Philippine Eagle Week
Celebrate the week by visiting the Philippines. The week is filled with fun activities and all you have to do is observe or join in on one of the activities.
Advocate against deforestation
Advocate against deforestation not just during the week but throughout the year. It affects the animal in their local environment as they become displaced when they lose their habitat.
Celebrate the day by spreading awareness. Lots of people, especially those living outside the Philippines don’t know about the week and so it presents a good opportunity to introduce them to the Philippines eagle.
5 Facts About The Philippine Eagle
It has a long lifespan
The Philippine eagle has a long lifespan as it can live up to 60 years.
Females are bigger
The female of the species is usually bigger than the males.
They have a distinguished noise
Philippine eagles have a loud and high-pitched noise to show their fierceness and territorial nature.
They have clearer eyesight than humans
Philippine eagles can see about eight times farther than humans.
They are monogamous
The Philippine eagle sticks with one partner all its life.
Why Philippine Eagle Week is Important
It preserves the Philippine eagle
As the Philippine eagle is an endangered species, celebrating the week draws us closer to finding ways to ensure their survival. This is a positive development for a truly magnificent animal.
It brings more attention to the Philippine eagle
Not everyone knows about the Philippine eagle and so the week brings more eyes to them. People get to find out about them during the week.
It discourages uncontrolled deforestation
The week discourages uncontrolled deforestation. This isn’t just good for the Philippine eagle, but for other animals and for the safety of the world as well.
Philippine Eagle Week dates