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Question
Hi Jonathan,
love birds of prey esp. eagles and the Philippine eagle is one of them, my Question is:As I have observed Why do Philippine eagles often make a spread wing posture with its head crest or hackles spread out like a crown while doing this, what is the purpose of this behavior? Is it for show off to other eagle, to warn off, territorial display? Do all eagles do this kind of gesture?

Thank you and more power

Photos: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/11/Philippine_Eagle_Spread_Wings.jpg

http://im.firstpost.com/fpimages/380x285/fixed/jpg/2015/12/Eagle_reuters_380-1.j

https://www.flickr.com/photos/25438596@N03/3826912315/in/photostream/

Answer
Dear David

Thank you for your question. I also wish to thank the authors of the websites I used. Please note that several birds have the same posture, but may use it for different reasons.

Nature Niche (https://thenatureniche.com/2012/02/29/spread-wings/) and https://web.stanford.edu/group/stanfordbirds/text/essays/Spread-Wing_Postures.html give a few options:
1)to dry off
2) to warm up. When birds sit with their wings spread wide, this increases the surface area of their bodies so the sun can more easily warm them (http://wildlifecenter.org/vulture-facts, http://hubpages.com/education/Why-do-birds-spread-their-wings-when-they-stand and http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/tetrapod-zoology/httpblogsscientificamerican).
3) to cool off.

I have another option for you. The eagle may spread out its wings and crest to appear larger if threatened. The bald eagle spreads its wings for similar reasons (http://www.munseysbearcamp.com/eagle.html).

I think the Philippine eagle may spread its wings for all the reasons listed above - to dry itself off after rain, to warm itself up so it can hunt, to cool itself off in hot weather and to appear larger, especially where it raises its crest.

I have only seen a live Philippine eagle once - that was at Planckeldael Zoo in Belgium in 1984. It is a very impressive bird.

I hope this helps

All the best

Jonathan

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Jonathan Wright

Expertise

I can answer questions about wild mammals and other animals, as well as extinct animals and zoos. I am not an expert about every animal species. I can look up information from books and the internet, but can't verify if all the information is true. Please don't ask questions about: 1. Pets. I am not a vet. Please contact a vet if your pet is ill. You may need to spend some money if you want your pet to live. Don't get a pet if you don't know how to look after it and if you can't provide it with the space, food and possible companions that will help it live a healthy life. Don't take animals from the wild, unless they are ill and/or injured and you can protect them until a wildlife charity can help. It is cruel to take animals from their parents, especially if the parents will look for the babies, while putting their other babies at risk. You may be breaking the law by keeping wild animals or you may need a licence to look after some species. Please check with a local wildlife group. 2. Eggs: Please don't remove eggs from nests. The mother birds provide the right temperature for the eggs and won't sit on them if the temperature is warm enough for them to develop naturally. It is illegal to remove eggs of some species and, unless you have an incubator or a broody hen, the egg may not develop. If you are allowed to touch the eggs, you can candle them to see if they are fertile. If theys aren't fertile, they won't hatch. 3. Fights: Please don't ask about fights between different animals. These questions assume that individuals of two species fight each time they meet and that one species will always be victorious over another. This is untrue. There are cases where a live mouse has been fed to a venomous snake, bitten the snake leading to the snake's demise. 4: Diseases: Please ask doctors or other medical experts about diseases that you may catch from animals. I can't advise on how to deal with viruses, bacteria etc.

Experience

I have a zoology degree and have been interested in animals since I was two. I am a zoo volunteer at London Zoo. I have appeared on a BBC Radio Quiz, 'Wildbrain'.

Organizations
WWF. ZSL. Natural History Museum. RSPB. London Bat Group.

Publications
Newsletters of London Zoo volunteers and the London Bat Group

Education/Credentials
BSC degree in Zoology. 'A' level in Zoology. 'O' Level in Biology.

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