The two preying bird species have unique characteristics and adorable physical features. One interesting fact about eagles is that they don’t sweat. Here is a comparison of the two birds:
Philippine Eagle Facts and Information
- Scientific name is Pithecophaga jefferyi.
- Also referred to as the great Philippine eagle or the monkey-eating eagle.
- Belongs to family Accipitridae and genus Pithecophaga.
- IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) considers it a ‘Critically Endangered” species.
- Ranked as one of the largest and most powerful eagles. It features in the top three largest and strongest eagles.
- Have largest length and wingspan. Mature ones can have a wing span of up to 2 meters (about 7 feet).
- Total length is between 0.8 and 1 meter. Average length for males is 0.95m while the average for females is 1.05m.
- Have a maximum height of 1 meter (about 3 feet).
- Weigh between 4 and 8 Kilograms (9 -18 pounds).
- Native to and only found in the Philippines.
- Mostly found in the Philippine Islands of Mindanao, Luzon, Leyte and Samar.
- Declared the Philippines National Bird in 1995.
- Since 1999 Philippines has been celebrating the Philippine Eagle Week between June 4 and 10.
- One of the rarest eagle species. Current population is less than 400 pairs.
- Have powerful eyes. They are capable of clearly seeing more than 8 times the range of what human beings can see.
- Plumage is white and brown colored.
- Of all birds of prey it is the only one with blue eyes.
- Defined by their enlarged feathers, curved beak and blue eyes.
- Known to reside in lowland forests where they build nests on huge, mature dipterocarp trees.
- Lifespan is 40 years (or less depending on habitat).
- Takes between 5 and 7 years to reach reproduction age.
- Have only one mating partner in a lifetime.
- Mostly breed between the months of July and February.
- Have low reproduction rate. Only one egg is laid every two years.
- It takes about two years for an eaglet of the great Philippine eagle to fully mature and become independent.
- Takes between 58 and 60 days for eggs to hatch.
- Male and female eagles take turns to incubate eggs.
- During the first 40 days in an eaglet’s life, the female watches the eaglet while the male goes out to hunt.
- Females are generally larger than males.
- Known to be solitary and territorial (fight hard to protect their territories from invasion/occupation by other birds of the same or different species)
- Feed on other birds and animals including bats, squirrels, monkeys (macaques), civets, flying lemurs, snakes, hornbills, pigs, goats and dogs.
- Have powerful talons that make it possible to crash the bones and muscles of their prey.
- Philippine law criminalizes the capture and/or killing of the monkey-eating eagles.
- It is estimated that at least one Philippine eagle is shot and killed each year.
- Existence is threatened by deforestation and other human activity.
- Scientific studies indicate it has no close ‘relative’ among other living eagles.
- It is a predatory species that helps keep the ecosystem in balance.
- The Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES) criminalizes the sale of this precious eagle among different countries.
- Was used to symbolize royal power during ancient times.
Bald Eagle Facts and Information
- Scientific name is Haliaeetus leucocephalus.
- Also referred to as the American Bald Eagle.
- Belongs to family Accipitridae and genus Haliaeetus.
- Both the national animal and the national bird of the USA.
- It is endemic to and only found in North America. Found in the US, Canada and Mexico.
- Have a population of 70,000.
- More than half their population (35,000) live in the US state of Alaska.
- There are about 20,000 bald eagles in the Canadian province of British Columbia.
- Feed on fish, rodents, carrion and other smaller birds. Unlike the Philippine eagle, the American bald eagle is not too choosy when it comes to food. The eagle eats anything that comes its way.
- Females are larger than males.
- A mature female bald eagle has a length of between 0.89 and 0.94 meter (35 and 37 inches) while a male one is 0.76 to 0.86 meter (30 to 34 inches) long.
- Female ones have a 2 to 2.28 meter (79-90 inch) wingspan while male ones have 1.8 to 2.2 meter (72 to 85) inch wingspan.
- Weigh between 4.55kgs (10 pounds) and 6.35kgs (14 pounds.)
- Average weight for female ones is 5.6kgs (12 pounds) while that one for males is 4.1kgs (9 pounds)
- Lifespan is about 20 years for wild eagles and up to about 50 years for those in captivity.
- Can lift a weight of up to 1.81kgs (4 pounds.)
- Capable of clearly seeing more than 4 times the range of what human beings can see.
- Their habitat is normally near large water bodies harboring fish. These include lakes, rivers and oceans.
- US government no longer categorizes it as an endangered species.
- Breed between the months of September and April.
- It takes up to 10 days for the female to lay eggs after mating.
- An average bald eagle can lay up to 3 eggs.
- Takes about 35 days for eggs to hatch.
- Are monogamous in nature i.e. they retain one breeding partner for life. Once the partner dies, the surviving one finds another partner.
- Takes up to 5 years to reach reproduction age.
- Easily distinguishable by its black-brown body and white neck, head and tail.
- Has yellow eyes, legs and beak.
- Known for their ‘talon clasping’ behavior as part of a mating ritual or when protecting their territories.
- Have high pitched voice.
- Holds the record of the largest tree ever made by a bird.
Philippine Eagle and Bald Eagle Comparison Table
|Average Length||34 to 39 in||34 to 43 in|
|Average Weight||10.4 to 17.6 lb||6.6 and 13.9 lb|
|Area||The Philippines||North America|
|Habitat||Dipterocarp and mid-montane forests, particularly in steep areas||Live near water bodies including along the coastline and on major lakes and rivers|
|Bill||Averages 2.84 in length||Averages 2.8–3.5 in length|
|Average Life Span||30 to 60 years||Up to 28 years|
Philippine Eagle vs Bald Eagle
A combat between these two birds will definitely be a fierce one. Their habitat and feeding patterns also differ in a way that no enthusiast or researcher will confidently predict the outcome of a fight between the two. The winner will be determined by not only strength and size but also ability to maneuver in the air, speed and stamina.
Philippine eagles are known to seamlessly maneuver in any direction with high speed between trees in dense tropical forests. This behavior is enhanced by their physical characteristics. Though the bald eagle may be more intelligent, the Philippine eagle is likely to win a fight between the two.
Videos of Philippine Eagle and Bald Eagle