MANILA – A new coffee table book celebrating the Philippine Eagle as a unifying symbol of the Filipino nation was launched on Thursday.
“Haring Ibon – The Great Philippine Eagle” is authored by Alain Pascua, co-founder of the Wild Bird Photographers of the Philippines Inc. and concurrently Undersecretary of Education for Administration.
It features “more than 100 photographs of the eagle’s breeding biology and early life history in its natural nesting site at Mt. Apo Natural Park,” wrote Dr. Angel Alcala, Ramon Magsaysay Awardee and National Scientist, in the book’s preface.
“Although the Philippine Eagle has been written about in several articles and books, this is the first time that the magnificent bird is given prominence in a whole book through documentation,” he noted.
Also providing his insights about the coffee table book is President Rodrigo Duterte. In his message on the first page of “Haring Ibon,” he said: “It (book) brings us to the wonderful settings that virtually give the readers a sense of adventure and an almost-real-life experience of how these eagles exist in the wild.”
Standing at three feet or roughly a meter tall with a wingspan of about seven feet, the Philippine Eagle is considered the largest eagle in the world. It is distinguished by its blue-gray eyes and its head crest of brown and white feathers which it can raise or lower at will.
This bird of prey’s presence has been documented in Luzon, in Leyte and Samar in the Visayas, and in Mindanao.
There are no more than 400 pairs of Philippine Eagles remaining in the wild because of hunting and the continuing loss of their natural habitat.