Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Caged King

I was looking for a particular native tree in Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife last Sunday. It was baguilumbang or Reutealis trisperma. I was told it was in fruit so I came hopeful to collect some seeds. I did not find it. Instead I saw a very rare glimpse of the famed Philippine monkey-eating eagle, Pithecophaga jefferyi, the king of the Philippine skies.

It was only recently that the Philippine eagle was bred in captivity. The eagle in NAPWC was transferred from the Raptor Center in Makiling. It was a sad sight to see it behind a screened confinement but the majestic bird still commands a sigh from spectators. Its size was magnificent and the wingspan was spectacular even if the eagle's flight spurs were very short due to the limited cage space. I consider myself lucky to see this amazing Philippine species but I hope not to see another one caged again. But I look forward to seeing another against the canopy of large dipterocarp trees and the blue sky. Another hurray for optimism.

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