After 5 years, PH has a newly-hatched Philippine eagle

Published December 7, 2021, 2:39 PM

by Zea Capistrano

DAVAO CITY — The Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) welcomed the 29th successfully bred chick at the Philippine Eagle Center on Saturday (December 4).

In a statement on Monday (December 6), the PEF said, “Chick 29” hatched at 1:16 pm. The chick is under close monitoring of the PEF’s Conservation Breeding Program.

The 29th successfully bred chick at the Philippine Eagle Center in Davao City hatched on Saturday, December 4, at 1:16 pm. (Photo courtesy of Philippine Eagle Foundation/Manila Bulletin)

The egg was laid last October 10 by female eagle Ariela with her male natural pair MVP Matatag; both are rescued eagles from the wild.

“The chick started to pip at 12:03 pm on December 3 and took over 24 hours before it completely broke out of its egg,” the PEF added.

To date, the PEF said, “this was the fastest pip-to-hatch record in the PEF’s breeding program.”

Ariela and MVP Matatag were first introduced for pairing in February 2019, the PEF added. The Ariela Marketing Company, Inc. adopted Ariela in 2015, while PLDT adopted MVP Matatag in 2017.

In an interview, PEF Executive Director Dennis Salvador said it took about five years before another eagle egg hatched at the PEC. The Philippine Eagle named Sakura was hatched in 2016. Sakura, however, died from a snakebite at the PEC.

Pag-asa (Hope), the first Philippine eagle bred in captivity, was hatched in 1992. The eagle died before his 29th birthday on January 6 this year.

Salvador said the successful hatching of “Chick 29” is “important because many of our old breeding birds have retired, and we’ve been working on new ones.”

“It took us this long for those pairings to work,” he said.

Salvador also described it as “a culmination of all our hard work and perseverance in an incredibly tough time in the conservation mission.”

“We share this milestone with the Filipino people who have supported us through their donations and helped keep the PEC a safe home for our national bird amid the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

Salvador said another egg is now under incubation at the PEC.

“Hopefully, it turns out to be fertile. We’ll know after a couple of weeks,” Salvador added.