"HOPE AND PATIENCE: Philippine Eagle Center (2006)" Top 5 Page for this destination Davao City Travelogue by monina_c
Davao City Travel Guide: 535 reviews and 1,786 photos
...was supposed to be one of the success stories of the Center. He was the first captive-bred Philippine Eagle to be released in the wilds of Mt. Apo. The field researchers rejoiced when they saw how well he adjusted to his life in the wilds. His continued adjustment gave field researchers new information regarding the survival of captive-bred eagles. After nine months of freedom, Kabayan's life was abruptly terminated when he met an accident while out hunting. He perched on a high voltage power line and was fatally electrocuted.
The PEC still continue to work tirelessly despite their loss. Out of the 20 captive-bred Philippine eagles, only 17 survived so far.
BTW, according to PEC, there are only about 500 pairs of Philippine Eagles. How did the PEC know this? They released an eagle with a transmitter to see how big a terretory each pair will need, the size of remaining viable habitat determined how many eagle pairs remained. But this is not conclusive. It might be that this number is smaller as the eagles sometimes fall prey to poachers and accidents like the one that happened to Kabayan.
When I visited the PEC this August, I saw this man seated under a bamboo grove. He had field glasses with him and a clipboard. Every now and then he would sight on his field glasses and write down something on his clipboard. He was a picture of patience and timelessness. Of course being the nosy cat that I am, I can't resist poking my nose on his business. Man! Am I glad I did!
The man is Mr. Domingo Tadena, it was only after I returned to Manila and accessed the PEF website that I learnt that I had a chance encounter with the Deputy Director of the Center himself! Oh crap! If I knew who he was, I probably wouldn't have asked the stupid questions I asked him. Hehehe!!! He was so kind and patient in answering my questions.
Turns out that Mr. Tadena have been observing this pair of Phil. Eagles in the hope of getting them to mate successfully and thus assure the continued survival of the species. Phil. eagles' mating season starts on July and ends on December but females start laying eggs in August. For this particular pair, the female is a little older than the male. She already laid an unfertilized egg last year. The male is a little smaller and it is hoped that he will perform well enough and take to the female.
This is actually the 2nd year that Mr. Tadena is observing the prospective pair. They occupy adjacent cages and their platforms are placed next to each other with a see-through screen separating the two. Phil. eagles are notoriously territorial and will kill to protect their turf. Given the endangered status of the bird, PEC cannot afford to commit an error in concluding that the birds totally accept each other before they put them in a single cage!
Mr. Tadena studies the pair daily (including weekends) from 6am-7am during their active time and then from 11am-12nn during feeding then another hour (4pm-5pm) when they are active in the afternoon. He has been encouraged by their behavior and thinks that next year will be the year when they will have another mated pair in the Center.
Hope lives on!
Philippine Eagle Center receives no support from the government although the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) does a quarterly inventory of the eagles. It is wholly supported by donations from corporate sponsors and private individuals and the entrance fees collected at the gate. So please don't quibble at the price of admission!!!
BTW, if you're interested in helping out the Center please visit the Philippine Eagle website. They need all the help they can get!
Mang Poroy feeds the other birds of prey in the Center. I caught him on the trail and after some small talk, he pointed out the Magtalisay tree where hundreds nay, maybe thousands of Philippine Flying Foxes, were taking their ease. Considered as the world's largest bats, they were perched upside down on the high branches. He tells me that there are other 2 trees that sport the same decor in the vicinity of the center.
He warned us against straying into the dense undergrowth in the hopes of getting a closer look at the creatures. He said that there are a lot of snakes in there and that we should just use the paths and stay safe. :) Thanks Mang Poroy for that extra info!!!
The Center is very careful about the food their wards get. To ensure the quality and safety of the food, they breed rabbits, chicken, guinea pigs and other foodstuff for the eagles and other birds of prey. Watching these great birds eat is not for the faint-hearted nor the squeamish. They claw, rend and tear apart their food and splatter blood and entrails everywhere!
Totally, Quentin Tarantino!
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