The Philippine Monkey-eating Eagle


One of the most eye-catching symbols of Davao is the Monkey-eating Eagle; one of the largest eagles in the world. Supposedly, each bird requires 100sq.km of native forest (and presumably, a never ending supply of monkeys) to survive. This is the problem the bird faces as like anywhere else in the world, human and animal populations clash.

This Philippine endemic has a haven on the slopes of Mt Eden where a captive breeding centre has been operating since 1998. You can read more about the centre here.

I visited the centre on my first trip to Davao in 2000. At that time, it was quite impressive. Unfortunately, the last 12 years seem to have passed by with little or no new investment. The area outside the centre is a mess of broken concrete including a roller skating rink that was probably conceived as the next ‘big thing’ and then went out of fashion and into disrepair. The moss-covered development concept plan doesn’t help as it shows the scale of the unfullfilled dreams.

The original concept plan still stands gathering moss 14 years after the centre opened.

The birds are magnificent, but such a high profile tourist attraction (it features in all of Davao’s tourism publicity) ought to be aiming at mimicking the likes of Singapore’s and Kuala Lumpur’s bird gardens to really bring in the visitors.

Crest raised, the Philippine Monkey-eating Eagle.


This bird seems to enjoy posing for the cameras running the whole range of profiles

Situated on the cool slopes of Mt Apo, the centre gets more than a normal share of rain, but there is virtually nowhere for visitors to shelter. I had to seek refuge with another family under a climbing frame while the rain poured down for 20 minutes and the paths turned to a slippery mush of mud.

2 thoughts on “The Philippine Monkey-eating Eagle

  1. Thank you for this blog. In Sion, Kaputian, there are two eagles that hunt there regularly for chickens. It is not yet known what kind, but we have observed that when they are hunting, the crows leave the area. The small village has still some old trees that make the area habitable for these birds, and you may contact the Sion Barangay Captain Greg Lloveras on how to protect these species by saving their habitat.

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