By Mona Sabalones-Gonzalez
In the Philippines they are called “lawin” but in other countries they are Brahminy Kites. For those who are not too picky about bird specifics they are simply eagles. The good news is, 10 of them were recently sent back home. “Home” being the forest and the skies.
The 10 lawin are endangered species, and they had been kept at the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB) animal rescue center in Quezon City. They were brought there by private citizens. At any rate, PAWB brought them to Mt. Banahaw, which is a protected area, making it a suitable habitat for them.
These birds are amazing kings of the sky. They eat dead animals, fish and insects and when they swoop low over the ground, or over tree tops or close to the waters it can be a breathtaking site. They are not doing acrobatics for us, they are catching live food and keeping the food chain in place.
The Philippines has a Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act, otherwise known as R.A. 9147. The villagers who live among Mt. Banahaw were asked to help keep all the lawin safe so they may “be fruitful and multiply” as the Bible says.
Not all the birds wanted to go back home. One of them had gotten used to the bamboo cage and was reluctant to leave. Perhaps, it was worried about its food source. PAWB plans to watch over the cage for a couple of days because the birds may go to it during meal times. Even home needs some getting used to.