The Philippine Eagle (also known as the Monkey-eating or Great Philippine Eagle) is one of the world’s rarest, largest and most powerful birds. This magnificent, shaggy-crested raptor was discovered in 1896 by the English explorer John Whitehead and its scientific name (Pithecophaga jefferyi ) honors his father Jeffrey. The Philippine Eagle is classified as Critically Endangered, the highest risk category assigned by the IUCN Red List for a wild species, and an estimated 180-500 survive in the wild. The reason for the species sad demise is habitat destruction. Most of the Philippine’s forests were destroyed during the 20th century and this tragedy still continues unabated. The bulk of the eagle’s present range falls within unprotected land belonging to logging companies.Although the Philippine Eagle is the world’s longest raptor (tail tip to beak), it is not as heavy as Steller’s Sea or Harpy Eagle. Its wingspan can exceed 2m (6.6ft), and witnessing one soaring over a precious last remnant of unbroken Philippine rainforest is surely one of the most magical sights a birder could ever dream of! Originally thought to be related to the Harpy Eagle, modern genetic studies have shown that it is actually most closely related to the snake eagles, such as Africa’s Bateleur. Its original moniker of Monkey-eating Eagle was changed when studies revealed that their diet seldom consists of monkeys, but mostly of Colugo (Flying-Lemur) and other small mammals, reptiles and even birds such as hornbills.