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Chick #24 Hatches at Philippine Eagle Center
Jayson C. Ibanez — in Philippine Eagle Conservation    Share

The following is a press release sent by Tatit Quiblat of the Philippine Eagle Center

Davao City - The Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) hatched the 24th chick from its conservation breeding program January 19 at 2:45pm.

The eaglet, from natural pair WM022 ("Jag") and WF030 ("Ka Brianne") is the 10th offspring of the pair.

The egg hatched after 57 days of incubation. "It was an assisted hatching," PEF Curator for Breeding Anna Mae Sumaya explained. "We monitored the egg very closely as it approached Day 55, when the chick was expected to pip through its shell. When it seemed that it was unable to break through, possibly because it was a relatively small chick, we decided to assist."

Weighing 116.5 grams, the chick is the lightest among the 24 eaglets hatched at the Eagle Center. Sumaya added that the chick might also have been hampered by a length of vein that lay across its tiny beak.

Breeding, incubation, and hatching of the endangered national bird continue to be highly delicate processes. "We've had nineteen years of experience from the time the first captive-bred, Pag-asa, was born, but we treat it as a challenge every time, " PEF Executive Director Dennis Salvador said.

Barring any illness, the chick is slated to be released before it turns two years old, to complement eagle populations in the wild. The PEF has continued to monitor wild eagle populations and install protection measures for forest habitats across the country. Recently, the local government of Mati, Davao Oriental expressed its support for eagle conservation efforts by declaring a 7,000-hectare eagle habitat in Barangay Cabuaya as protected.

At one day old, Philippine Eagle Chick #24 is not longer than an average pen. It is amazing to know that in a few months time, this precious little bundle will grow to become one of the most powerful and most imposing creatures in the world!

Chick #24 rests between feedings at the Philippine Eagle Center in Davao City. Under the care of the Philippine Eagle Foundation, the chick may contribute to increasing its kind in the wild when it gets released to its natural habitat before it turns two.

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