ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Largest eagle in the world lives in the ancestral land of Lake Sebu's lumads

Updated on January 14, 2013

It is rare that one comes face to face with the most ferocious and piercing eyes that silently say "I see you" 19 times better and clearer than the human eyes -

Lake Sebu, Mindanao

A huge bird of prey got entangled in a fisherman’s net in the pristine waters of Lake Sebu, a hinterland town two thousand feet above sea level and populated by six indigenous tribes of South Cotabato. The Rufus Hornbill (Kalaw) chased the young Philippine Eagle off its territory causing it to crash into the lake’s waters.

The fish pen owner who grappled with the largest eagle in the world subdued the forest top predator into submission not without a bloody fight and cuts to his arms and shoulders. Fearing the worst fate to befall the mighty and “Angry Bird”, I was tasked by the Sta. Cruz Mission of Lake Sebu to secure the release of the eagle from captivity. After some successful negotiations I brought the bird to the Sta. Cruz Mission, Lem Ehek Center where a huge cage was constructed and called the Philippine Eagle Conservation Authority based in Davao City.

2007 research data from the Conservation International revealed that fewer than 250 adult Philippine Eagles are left in the Philippines. The largest eagle in the world , the Philippine Eagle, the National Bird of the Philippines (Pithecophaga Jeffereyi) is one of the rarest eagle and most threatened raptors in the world. It has large powerful claws, heavy yellow legs and bluish grey large bill. It grows bigger than 91 centimeters with a wingspan of two meters. The adult which can live more than 60 years weigh as much as 65 kilograms. It is said that the Philippine Eagle has 19 times better and sharper vision than humans during the day.

Visitors from as far as Manila, Davao City and Cotabato provinces came to view the large and majestic raptor.

After a few months, it was determined that the eagle has regained its health and can be released into the tropical forest of Lake Sebu.

With three of us from the Sta. Cruz Mission getting ready to take the blindfolds off, release our hold on its mighty wings and powerful claws, I was given the privilege of lifting and swinging the eagle up into the sky and into freedom to take its place as the top predator and barometer of the health of one of Mindanao’s remaining tropical forest .

Sightings were reported of the eagle along the Southern Mindanao and Daguma Mountain ranges. But every now and then it returns and make a pass along the 500 hectare -wide Lake Sebu waters.

Edwin Cordero Mercurio


Submit a Comment

  • MercuryNewsOnline profile imageAUTHOR


    5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

    You are right Beth100. My gentle stroking of its head and feathers could have helped make it realize that I meant no harm. Plus, the blindfold renders it in sleep mode. However, I would agree I was lucky to have touched this ferocius, magnificent and smooth air traveller during the day and came back to write this story.

  • Beth100 profile image


    5 years ago from Canada

    I can only dream of handling an eagle! I have handled falcons and hawks -- and yes, their talons are razor sharp! Luckily, I have never been cut by them.

    Like your experience, I have found that when they are being released, it's like they sense it, and remain calm and are actually careful of their talons.

    Thank you for your wishes.

  • MercuryNewsOnline profile imageAUTHOR


    5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

    Thank you for your wonderful comment Beth100. There were three of us who worked together to take off the eagle's blindfold, protective gloves for the sharp talons and the release was managed by the Eagle Conservation Program director plus many others from the media and observers who were there to witness the event. For the three of us who were getting ready to release the majestic bird of prey, we had both excitement and anxiety since we were scared of the sharp claws of the raptor. Fortunately, it tamely allowed itself to be released into the sky where it headed straight to the forest canopy.

    A friendly hug and greetings of peace, love and freindship for the New Year.

  • Beth100 profile image


    5 years ago from Canada

    Beautiful!! It is wonderful to hear that this beautiful bird was released, and not killed and stuffed for viewing and as a trophy!! Excellent!

    May your New Year be blessed with peace, love and friendship! Happy New Year!


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)