Lord of the Forest

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Under the golden rays of a rising sun in its kingdom at Mt. Apo Natural Park stands the Lord of the Forest, Haring Ibon, the King of Birds, in all its splendour and majesty!

Photographing the most majestic eagle in the world at the golden hour is one of the greatest moments a wild bird photographer dreams to have. I thank the King of Kings to have given me that golden moment.

The Philippine Eagle is the largest of all eagles in the world. Its total length (from tip of bill to tip of tail feather) is about 105 cm (3.5 ft) and a wingspan of about 220 cm (7.2 ft)! Yet, it is also the rarest and the most critically endangered.

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The vanishing breed of the King of Birds is a natural consequence of the vanishing forest of the Philippines. Even if the present hectarage of forest cover is maintained, the Philippine National Bird will remain critically endangered as its heirs will not have the necessary kingdoms that they can reign over. It is of utmost necessity that the forest cover be increased, that the remaining virgin and old growth forests not only be protected from any further incursions, but its buffer zones and erstwhile coverage be reclaimed and regrowth. Only then can the reign of Haring Ibon soar high above their unfortunate critical condition.

Let’s give back the forest to the Lord of the Forest! Let’s give back the vast kingdom of trees to the King of Birds! In doing so, we also help humanity, for the forest is our life too. It is our source of water and air, we have to protect, preserve and even expand it, else we too will perish.

THE GREAT PHILIPPINE EAGLE, Philippine endemic, Critically Endangared, at Mt. Apo Natural Park, March 2014… Canon EOS 7D + EF 600mm f/4L USM + Benron Tripod and GH-2 Gimbal Head… 1/2000, f/4, iso400, Aperture Priority +0/1, Spot Metering, Handheld, www.facebook.com/alainpascuaphotography.

Alain Pascua

Alain Pascua

Alain Pascua is one of the founding-administrators of the "Wild Birds of the Philippine" Page, the only multi-photographer gallery of Philippine birds in Facebook. He also co-founded the Philippine BIrd Photography Workshops and Tours, a professional outfit, in 2011, and the Wild Bird Photographers of the Philippines (WBPP) in 2012. Alain Pascua’s photos of wild birds have graced numerous publications, the latest are featured in the newly published book Owls of the World A Photographic Guide by Heimo Mikkola. He won second place in the 1st Bird as Art International Bird Photography Competition organized by Art Morris in the Captive Birds Category.

Alain Pascua

Alain Pascua

Alain Pascua is one of the founding-administrators of the "Wild Birds of the Philippine" Page, the only multi-photographer gallery of Philippine birds in Facebook. He also co-founded the Philippine BIrd Photography Workshops and Tours, a professional outfit, in 2011, and the Wild Bird Photographers of the Philippines (WBPP) in 2012. Alain Pascua’s photos of wild birds have graced numerous publications, the latest are featured in the newly published book Owls of the World A Photographic Guide by Heimo Mikkola. He won second place in the 1st Bird as Art International Bird Photography Competition organized by Art Morris in the Captive Birds Category.

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Cat Vincent
Cat Vincent

Superb photograph and a very moving plea from the photographer. Good luck with your efforts to spread the word and save the forests for these iconic birds.

Des Hume

As usual, a totally incredible shot. I hope to get to see these guys next year.