Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Philippine Eagle

The Philippines officially known as the Republic of the Philippines   is a sovereign country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam. The Sulu Sea to the southwest lies between the country and the island of Borneo, and to the south the Celebes Sea separates it from other islands of Indonesia. It is bounded on the east by the Philippine Sea. Its location on the Pacific Ring of Fire and its tropical climate make the Philippines prone to earthquakes and typhoons but have also endowed the country with natural resources and made it one of the richest areas of biodiversity in the world. An archipelago comprising 7,107 islands, the Philippines is categorized broadly into three main geographical divisions: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Its capital city is Manila.
WWF’s involvement in the Philippines dates back to 1969, when it funded efforts to protect the Philippine eagle. The Philippine Eagle was officially declared the national bird of the Philippines on 4 July 1995 by President Fidel V. Ramos under Proclamation No. 615. This eagle, because of its size and rarity, is also a highly desired bird for birdwatchers. This fabulous set of four First Day Covers with the lovely matching stamps were issued to commemorate an official  WWF Philippine Programme which was established in Manila to supervise WWF's numerous field activities and to work more closely with local partners. This turned into an associate programme known locally as Kabang Kalikasan ng Pilipinas (Fund for Nature of the Philippines). In 1997 it became a full member of the WWF Network. The stamps feature the Philippine Eagle. The details are (Denomination and Image) P1.00 Philippine eagle head profile; P4.75 Philippine eagle perched on a branch of a tree; P5.50 Philippine eagle in flight and P8.00 Philippine eagle feeding an eaglet in the nest.

The Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi), also known as the Monkey-eating Eagle, is an eagle of the family Accipitridae that is endemic to forests in the Philippines. It has brown and white-coloured plumage, and a shaggy crest, and generally measures 86 to 102 centimetres (2.82 to 3.35 ft) in length and weighs 4.7 to 8 kilograms (10 to 18 lb). Among the rarest, largest, and most powerful birds in the world. It is critically endangered, mainly due to massive loss of habitat due to deforestation in most of its range. Killing a Philippine Eagle is punishable under Philippine law by twelve years in jail and heavy fines. The Philippine Eagle's nape is adorned with long brown feathers that form a shaggy crest. These feathers give it the appearance of possessing a lion's mane, which in turn resembles the mythical griffin. The eagle has a dark face and a creamy-brown nape and crown. The back of the Philippine Eagle is dark brown, while the underside and under wings are white. The heavy legs are yellow with large, powerful dark claws, and the prominent large, high-arched, deep beak is a bluish-gray. The eagle's eyes are blue-gray. Juveniles are similar to adults except that their upper part feathers have pale fringes. This wonderful set of FDc was given to me by my friend Maria.

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