PEF breeding experts were alarmed when the chick made no effort in coming out of its shell on its due time. They were forced to pip the shell themselves so as to save the chick from suffocation. They assisted the chick during its hatching just in time. “Good morning chick. Welcome to the world!,” mumbled PEF Deputy Director for Conservation Breeding Domingo Tadena as he removed the baby eagle from its shell.
The chick has since been stable, taking its first feeding of ground quail breast meat, 8 hours after hatching.
At barely a day old, the chick can lift its head and hold it for a few seconds. It can also open its eyes though its vision is not precise yet.
Chick 22 weighed 155.9 grams, placing itself around the middle of the ranks of Philippine Eagle chicks in terms of hatch weight.
The chick is the sixth surviving offspring of one of the most prolific pairs at the center, Tsai and Princess Maasim. The pair has produced six out of the seventeen captive-bred eagles coming from natural pairs.
“The pair serves as an epitome of hope that the Philippine Eagle will continue to rule the skies and survive,” PEF Executive Director Dennis Salvador said, adding that the foundation is in constant search for more benefactors that will provide for the needs, not just for Tsai and Princess Maasim, but for the rest of the eagles at the PEC.
The PEF maintains the Adopt-an-Eagle Program where individuals and groups can help PEF’s cause of preserving the great Philippine Eagle by adopting one at the PEC, sponsoring its food, medication and maintenance on an annual basis.
“The conservation breeding program is in constant process of learning effective conservation breeding techniques. Much has already been achieved, but more needs to be done,” Salvador concluded. (Barbette Rustia/Philippine Eagle Foundation)