Monday, July 29, 2013

Up Close With The Philippine Eagle: Philippine Eagle Center, Davao City


Day 4 (continued)

It was still early when we finished touring the Prayer Mountain. We still have half of the day to see more of Davao City. We had lunch in one of the eateries (read: carenderia) in Calinan, where we tasted the best Balbacua so far. Ugh, I felt bad not taking a photo of it and for forgetting the name of the place. My bad. But it was delicious enough, that I won't forget how it tasted.

After that hearty lunch, we decided to visit the Philippine Eagle Center which is also just nearby the area. Since there were four of us, we just rented a tricycle to take us there. Like what we did in Tamayong, we just asked our driver to wait for us and just give him extra for his waiting time.




We reached the Center within 10-15 minutes. We paid the PHP 50 Entrance Fee. We find it cool that they have umbrellas ready for their guests. It seems like it's always raining there hehe.




So our assumption was right. Only after 5 minutes, the rain started to pour. It wasn't just rain showers, it was a heavy one. We ran to the nearest shed we could find before we got soaked.




We waited for a while for the rain to stop. We wanted to wander slowly in order for us to get more up close with the birds. We didn't want to rush it. The rain never really stopped but at least it reduced in to mild rain showers. We continued our sightseeing right then.




The trails became wet and muddy and I was just wearing those thin flat shoes. My feet will get wet in no time if I continue wearing them anyway, so I just took them off and walked around the center barefoot. Nothing quite like it haha. :)




The Center resembles a tropical rain forest environment. It is a perfect habitat for our eagles. It currently houses 36 of them.




We finally get to see this lovely bird up close. I actually wondered for a second if it's okay for them to get rained on. Won't they catch a cold or something? Sometimes I can get that silly haha. But seriously, I hope they don't get sick.




Philippine Eagle used to be called as Monkey-Eating Eagle. It was later changed upon discovering that they don't only prey on monkey for food. It was declared as our national bird on 1995. It is the largest breed of eagle in the world, length wise. They are also one of the most rare and most powerful birds in the world. It's so sad that they are now severely endangered due to deforestation.




They are endemic to the Philippines. See the definition of endemic on the photo above. All the more, we should do everything to protect and conserve them.


The Center is also a home to 10 other bird species. I took photos of some of them below.






















They also house four species of mammals. One of them is this pig which is also endemic to our country.







We enjoyed our mini-educational tour here in The Philippine Eagle Center. Even if you don't have a guided tour, just reading the signages will give you so much information and will make you understand more about them.






If we all do our part, we will still get to see them on the years to come. Our next generations will still be able to see them too. My heart bled upon hearing the news back in 2011 that a Philippine Eagle has been shot by some ignorant farmer. It takes years for them to produce an egg and they will just be killed just like that. It was really depressing. Educating people properly will help to preserve them.




I also read a lot of not so good comments from fellow Filipinos who visited the Center. They say the place is poorly maintained and all that rubbish. Surprisingly, the foreigners who came to visit had much more good things to say. To those people who just went there to criticize the facilities of the center and not appreciate the effort of conserving them, instead of giving negative comments, why don't you just do your part? Give donations to help them improve the facilities. Volunteer, so you'll have a feel of how hard it is to maintain the place. It's not just some park, you know.




I hope the Philippine Eagle survives for a long time. It would be awesome if our future children and grandchildren can still get a glimpse of this magnificent bird. Let us all do our share to protect and preserve our forests and animals.

Long live, Philippine Eagle! :)



This is Part 4 of my Davao travel series.

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