Family of PH eagles sighted in Davao Oriental town

Published December 12, 2020, 1:15 PM

by Zea Capistrano

DAVAO CITY – The provincial government of Davao Oriental on Friday said a family of the critically-endangered Philippine eagles was spotted in Lupon town.

According to a report published on the provincial government’s official website, Eden Jhan Licayan, a photographer of the Provincial Information Office (PIO), was able to take photos and some video footage of three Philippine eagles, while they were holding a four-day assessment of potential tourism sites in the area from December 7 to 10.

The provincial government said the event was aimed at assessing the potential for tourism of the area as part of its localized implementation of President Duterte’s Executive Order 70 or Whole-of-Nation Approach to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC).

“Mr. Licayan said he first spotted a young Philippine Eagle perched on a tree near its nest while emitting a powerful call. The following day, Licayan and his team were surprised to spot two more eagles flying over the forest canopy which were much bigger than the first one they sighted,” it said.

The provincial government also said Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) Head for Research and Development, Dr. Jason Ibanez confirmed that the birds they saw were Philippine eagles.

Ibanez was quoted as saying that based on appearance and “nature of its feathers” the first bird Licayan sighted bird was a juvenile Philippine eagle.

He added that the juvenile could be about a year old, and that the two other bigger eagles could be “possibly an eagle couple.”

According to him, based on the location of the photos, the eagles were spotted “within the Mount Kampalili-Puting Bato Key Biodiversity Area of Davao Oriental” which was among the few large habitats of the Philippine eagles in Mindanao.

Ibanez also said that an expedition to “further document the eagle pair and their young is highly recommended”.

It can be recalled that a rescued Philippine eagle was released in Caraga town in Davao Oriental last September.

The provincial government is now eyeing the potential of hosting bird watching activities in the area because of the presence of the Philippine eagles and other bird species. 

Provincial Governor Nelson Dayanghirang said “it’s like hitting two birds with one stone” as the activity will have both economic and conservation potentials. 

“It will not only help people become more responsible for their forests but will also introduce economic opportunities to end the cycle of poverty, thus, ending NPA recruitment as the people will become more focused on their new livelihood and conservation efforts,” he added.