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Documentary highlights effort to save Philippine eagle

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Lindsey Hadlock

The Philippine eagle is a large, powerful raptor but it may not be large or powerful enough to withstand buzzing chainsaws that are erasing the old-growth forests it needs to survive. There are fewer than 800 of these birds remaining in the Philippines.

A new documentary, “Bird of Prey,” is bringing the story of their conservation to audiences around the world as well as in the Philippines, spotlighting the efforts of a small but determined group of people trying to save the eagle. The film is being screened in Ithaca for the first time as part of the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival Sunday, April 15, at 4 p.m. at Cinemapolis in Ithaca.

“Bird of Prey” is the work of cinematographer Neil Rettig in partnership with the Multimedia Productions group at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Filipino conservationists. The film's vivid imagery takes viewers right into the eagle’s nest 100 feet aloft or soaring through the remote mountain patches of forest where the eagle still survives.

The Philippine Eagle Foundation is an on-the-ground conservation group trying to preserve the species through captive breeding, care for injured birds, education and by guarding nesting sites to keep the birds safe.

Tickets are available online or at the door.


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