The Philippine Star is reporting multiple sightings of a pair rare Philippine eagles and their offspring on Apayao. The eagles were seen on November 6, 8, and 19. Photographs taken represent the first photos of Philippine eagles ever taken in the Cordillera administrative region.

One of the three encounters is described in detail:

After scanning the thick forests of Barangay Eva for days, PEF investigators Tatiana Abaño and Adriano Oxales finally spotted a lone Philippine eagle standing inside the crown of the tallest tree atop Mount Mamukaw.

Moments later the adult eagle jumped and glided out of view, reappearing above Mamukaw 20 minutes later.

A few minutes later it was back on the same perch, but this time harassed by a flock of Rufous hornbills which were obviously bothered by the giant raptor’s presence.

An eagle food item, the hornbills loudly wailed at the eagle for a couple of minutes, but eventually gave up and left one by one.

The eagle stood its ground, giving Abaño and Oxales ample time to fix a digital camera on their field telescope and take the first photos of a wild adult eagle in the Cordillera Administrative Region.

The eagle flew away after the last hornbill took off. But the day’s eagle show did not end there.

At half past noon, an eagle re-emerged from the canopy and rode the thermals in a spiral motion to great heights. To the team’s delight, another eagle joined in at mid-air, trailing the other for a couple of minutes.

Experts at the Philippine Eagle Center in Davao City believe that such flight rituals are a means to strengthen pair bonding during nesting or when jointly raising their young.

Read the full article at the Star Online.

And here is a “Planet Philippines” clip of the Philippine eagle in the wild. (eagle footage starts at 1:57)

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