Eagle is a powerful and large bird of prey. With their strong beaks and large wingspan, eagles are referred to as the fiercest predators among birds as they hunt their own food and eat it fresh.
Eagles have a large beak with a hook-like tip. It helps them to tear their prey and eat its flesh. Besides the powerful talons and muscular legs also assist them to clutch their prey with extreme force.
Unlike other birds of prey, eagles have a heavier beak. In addition, the eyes of an eagle are extraordinarily powerful. For instance, the eyes of a Martial eagle offer a visual acuity that is 8 times stronger as compared to humans.
With such powerful eyesight, eagles can easily spot prey from a couple of miles. This is all due to the large pupils, which prevents the diffraction of incoming light.
Types of Eagles
There are more than 60 recorded species of eagles. Each of these species exhibits certain similarities and differences in terms of their characteristics and features.
Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos)
Depending on the habitat, Golden Eagle tends to be a cosmopolitan kind of eagle. They can live in the developed cities and towns located throughout the world.
Golden Eagles are mostly found in Asia, Europe, North America, and Africa. Due to their varied diet, these birds can sustain themselves in a wide range of habitats including mountains, forests, and agricultural lands.
However, they prefer to live on mountains and cliffs. This kind of habitat helps to protect their eggs. They have different shades of colors. However, their plumage is usually golden. Hence, they are referred to as Golden Eagle.
The female is larger than the male. The wingspan of Golden eagles can reach up to two meters. In addition, their weight ranges between 5 to 6 kg.
Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)
The Bald Eagle is a national bird of the United States of America. Besides, it is among the most recognized species of eagles. This species is found in different parts of the world.
These eagles have adapted themselves to varying environments and habitats. Hence, you can found them in swamps, forests, rivers, mountains, etc.
The female bald eagle is larger than the male. It can weigh over 7 kg. Apart from this, the wingspan of this species can reach up to 2 meters. The presence of white feathers on their heads gives them a distinctive appearance.
In order to fly at high altitudes, Bald eagles take advantage of thermal convection currents. This helps them to soar higher without much effort. These currents are produced due to uneven temperatures on the surface of our earth.
The Bald eagles fly opposite to this rising air, which helps them to conserve energy while soaring. They continue to fly high until they are hungry. To come down from a height, the eagle starts to dive and glide.
The Bald eagle also has incredible eyesight. It allows these birds to identify and locate their prey from a distance of hundreds of feet above the ground.
Spanish Imperial Eagle (Aquila adalberti)
Also known as Iberian Peninsula, this species loves to occupy mountainous and coastal areas. Their overall length ranges between 70cm to 80cm. The wingspan can be as wide as 2 meters.
The color of their plumage is brown and they have white bands on the upper part of their shoulder. Although these eagles can live for a longer time, they are listed as endangered species.
Harpy Eagle (Harpia harpyja)
The Harpy eagles prefer living in the rainforests and jungles. This species has an overall height of one meter. Harpy eagle has a wingspan of 2 meters. It is one of the largest and strongest eagles in the world.
The color of their plumage is greyish-white. There is a row of feathers, which look like a crest. Each of the talons of this species is four inches long. The beak of a Harpy eagle is also powerful.
Bonelli’s Eagle (Aquila fasciata)
The habitat of this species spans over a large area including the Mediterranean basin and South-East Asia. They live on the cliffs of mountains for most of their life. The length of this eagle is nearly 70 cm and the wingspan can reach up to 180 cm.
These eagles have brownish plumage. They also have unique brown stripes on the breast. The Bonelli’s eagle has been listed as endangered species in different countries including France.
The major threat to this type of eagle comes from illegal hunting and the destruction of suitable habitats.
White-tailed Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla)
The White-tailed eagle is commonly found in Asia and northern Europe. This species is ecologically similar to the bald eagle. These eagles live by the seashore and hunt fish for their food.
The length of this eagle is nearly 90 cm and the wingspan can reach up to 2.5 meters. The main body color is dark brown. Besides, there are some lighter tones on the plumage.
They have white feathers on their tail. This is why these eagles are known as White-tailed eagles. This species can live longer. For instance, White tailed eagles can live up to 25 years in the wild.
Crowned Eagle (Stephanoaetus coronatus)
The Crowned eagle is native to sub-Saharan Africa. This species is usually found in dense forests. When it comes to physical appearance, these eagles are slightly smaller than other types of eagles.
The wingspan of this particular eagle is 1.80m and the height is 90 cm. Even being small, this eagle still rules as an apex predator. Unlike other species, the crowned eagle has a dark red plumage with a few cream color spots.
The wings of this species are known for their unique shape. The wings of a crowned eagle are shorter and rounder as compared to other known species of eagles.
These wings offer better mobility and agility. This helps them to hunt even inside jungles and forests.
Black-and-chestnut Eagle (Spizaetus isidori)
These species of eagles are also referred to as Isidor’s eagles. This species is native to South America. Hence, they are usually found in Venezuela and areas surrounding Northeastern Argentina.
Generally, these eagles live in jungles and forests. Their length can reach up to 80 cm (From head to tip of the tail). They have a characteristic dark ochre plumage. The feathers on the chest area contain black stripes.
The presence of orange-colored eyes is another unique and special feature of this species. It is also listed as a threatened species. This is so, as their habitat is under threat due to fast-paced urbanization.
Wedge-tailed Eagle (Aquila audax)
The Wedge-tailed eagle is common in Southern New Guinea and Australia. This species can survive in a wide range of environments. What they need is the highest possible place to build their nest.
As a result, these eagles normally choose large and tall trees to make their nest. In absence of these trees, these eagles prefer the cliff edges for nesting.
They have a unique wedge-shaped tail. Their wingspan can be as wide as 2 meters. This is why they are categorized among a few of the largest species of eagles. The plumage has a reddish-brown color, which darkens with the age.
Martial Eagle (Polemaetus bellicosus)
The Martial eagle is native to sub-Saharan Africa. This species inhabits forests, savannahs, forests, and less-open locations. The dark brown plumage turns pale-yellow at the breast.
The height of this eagle is nearly one meter. In addition, the wingspan is more than 2.6 meters. Hence, Martial eagles are referred to as the largest eagle species in Africa.
They are capable of hunting preys larger than their own size. For instance, these eagles have been reported to kill young antelope. Besides, they also have a tendency to attack livestock.
Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi)
As the name suggests, this type of eagle is native to the Philippines. They are normally found in forests, jungles, and covered areas. Their plumage contains both brown and white feathers.
They also have a crest around their head. The eyes are gray-blue, which gives them a unique appearance. Roughly, these species have a height of 1 meter and a wingspan over 2 meters.
The Philippine eagle is popular as a monkey-eating eagle. This is so, as small monkeys serve as the major food source for them.
Steller’s Sea Eagle (Haliaeetus pelagicus)
The Steller’s Sea eagle is among the largest eagle species in Northeast Asia. Here, they live in the areas around the coasts. They have a height of one meter and the wingspan can reach up to 2.5 meters.
Apart from being the largest, these eagle species are extremely powerful. The most notable feature of this eagle is its yellow-colored beak and legs. Both the legs and beak are strong. These features render it a fierce predator.
Since it’s a marine species, Stellar’s Sea eagle loves to hunt on fish. The dark brown plumage has some white feathers at the upper part of the wings, forehead, and thighs.
13. Bateleur Eagle
The Bateleur eagle, found in Africa, is a medium-sized bird of prey that lives in the savannas and semi-open woodlands. The word Bateleur means acrobat or tightrope walker. This name describes how the bateleur eagle flies; high up with lots of soaring, diving, and quick turns. When hunting for food, it hovers over its prey which are often visible from far away due to their silvery coloring. Then it swoops down very fast to snatch up his food before flying off again without hardly stopping to rest.
This eagle type has become threatened because they are hunted by humans who believe that eagles are killing their livestock.
The Bateleur eagle is between 40-50 inches in length, has a wingspan of about 7 feet, and weighs around 9 pounds. It has an average life span in the wild of about 27years.
The Bateleur eagle has a dark, rich brown color with white and black markings on its chest and wings. Its beak is dark red or yellow. Its claws are sharp and powerful for gripping onto prey as it flies by at high speeds. The bateleur eagle often strikes fear into other birds, such as vultures, because of its large size and aggressive hunting habits.
14. African Fish Eagle
15. Crested Serpent
The crested serpent eagle, found in New Guinea, is a medium-sized bird of prey. Its scientific name is Spilornis cheela, which means “chela” or claw characterized by its curved beak; the word “crested” describes the thin feathers on top of its head that it can raise when threatened to make itself seem more significant than it is. This type of eagle lives in dense tropical forests and shrubland. It feeds mainly off large insects like mantids but also hunts small mammals such as tree shrews.
One unique thing about this type of eagle is that its nests are not built until three months after mating. A male and female will mate for life, and both will help build the next. These eagles are very aggressive when protecting their young or territory by striking out at other birds or humans that get too close.
Crested Serpent Eagles are about 26 inches in length, have a wingspan of 5-6 feet, and weigh up to 4 pounds. They have an average life span of around 20 years in the wild.
The crested serpent eagle has grey feathers with black barring; its head is pale brown with dark speckles on its crown (top of its head). It has large yellow eyes that help it see well at night when hunting for prey.
16. Madagascar Fish Eagle
This type of eagle is found in Madagascar. It lives near rivers, lakes, and mangroves. Its scientific name is Haliaeetus vociferoides which means “Seahawk with a loud voice.”
Madagascar fish eagles are aggressive in protecting their territory by attacking other birds or humans that get too close to their nesting area. They have an average life span of around 30 years in the wild.
These eagles are about 40-50 inches long with a wingspan of 6-7 feet, and can weigh up to 9 pounds. They have feathers that vary from grey and brown tones to white depending on their age and gender; its head does not change color but may be lighter than its body as it gets older.
17. Sanford’s Sea Eagle
The Sanford’s sea eagle is a large bird of prey found in Papua New Guinea. This type of eagle lives near rivers, swamps, tidal pools, mangroves, and tidal areas.
Its scientific name is Haliaeetus sanfordi, which means “Hawk with a clear voice.” It feeds fish, turtles, crabs, snakes, seabirds , and small mammals like water rats.
Sanford’s sea eagles are about 3 feet in length, have 8-10 feet wingspan, and can weigh up to 20 pounds. They have feathers that vary from dark brown, black, or white depending on their age and gender; its head does not change color but is sometimes lighter than its body as it gets older.
18. Pallas’s Fish Eagle
The Pallas’s fish eagle is a large bird of prey that lives in Russia and China. Its scientific name is Haliaeetus leucoryphus, which means Seahawk with white wings. This type of eagle prefers rivers, streams, and wetlands as its habitat.
Pallas’s fish eagles are about 4 feet long, have wings of 10 feet, and can weigh up to 14 pounds. Their feathers vary from dark brown, black, or white depending on their age and gender; its head does not change color but is sometimes lighter than its body as it gets older.
19. Southern Banded-Snake Eagle
The Southern banded-snake eagle is a large bird of prey that lives in South Africa and Namibia. This type of eagle prefers to live in sparse woodland, open thornbush, or grasslands. It has one scientific name, which is Circaetus gallicus which means “Hawk with three bands.”
Southern banded-snake eagles are about 3 feet long, have a 7-9 feet wingspan, and can weigh up to 20 pounds. They have feathers that vary from deep brown, black, or white depending on their age and gender; its head does not change color but is sometimes lighter than its body as it gets older.
20. Kinabalu Serpent-Eagle
The Kinabalu serpent-eagle is a large bird of prey that lives in Malaysia and the Philippines. This type of eagle prefers open areas such as grasslands or forests. It has one scientific name which is Spilornis kinabaluensis which means Bird of Kinabalu.
Kinabalu serpent-eagles are about 2 feet long, have a wingspan of 6 feet, and can weigh up to 10 pounds. They have feathers that vary from deep brown, black, or white depending on their age and gender; its head does not change color but is sometimes lighter than its body as it gets older.
Serpent eagles are known for being fierce predators that can hunt any animal they want regardless of its size by using both sharp claws and a sharp beak to attack their victims with speed and precision. They use the element of a surprise either through camouflage or by attacking their prey from above.
21. Indian Spotted Eagle
The Indian spotted eagle is a large bird of prey that lives in Asia. This type of eagle prefers to live in forests near rivers, swamps, or other wetlands. It has one scientific name, which is Clanga hasta which means Snake Eagle.
This spotted eagle will not typically go after an animal that is bigger than itself to hunt. It has the unique ability to stay in flight for over half an hour, even while carrying a heavy load.
Indian spotted eagles are about 4 feet long, have a 9-11 feet wingspan, and can weigh up to 15 pounds. They have feathers that vary from light brown to dark brown depending on their age and gender; its head does not change color but is sometimes weaker than its body as it gets older. This type of eagle has a hooked beak and strong talons to grasp onto prey while flying away at high speeds.
Spotted eagles are known for being fierce predators that can hunt any animal they want regardless of its size by using both sharp claws and a sharp beak to attack their victims with speed and precision; they also use the element of a surprise either through camouflage or by attacking their prey from above.
22. Pygmy Eagle
The pygmy eagle lives in the tropical forests of Africa. This type of eagle prefers to live near rivers or swamps where it can find a lot of small forest animals to eat. It has one scientific name, which is Aquila pomarina which means “Small Eagle.”
This pygmy eagle will not typically go after an animal that is bigger than itself to hunt; when attacking prey, it uses its sharp talons to grasp onto its victim before flying away with it. This group of eagles has the unique ability to stay in flight for over half an hour, even while carrying a heavy load.
Pygmy eagles are about 20 inches long, have 34-38 inches wingspan, and can weigh up to 1 pound. They have feathers that vary from white and yellow depending on their age and gender; its head does not change color but is sometimes lighter than its body as it gets older.
Pygmy eagles are known for being fierce predators that can hunt any animal they want regardless of its size by using both sharp claws and a sharp beak to attack their victims with speed and precision. They use the element of a surprise either through camouflage or by attacking their prey from above.
Classification of Eagles
Below is the scientific classification of eagles.
Distinctive Features of Eagles
Eagles are mighty birds, which makes them distinguished from other diurnal raptors i.e. falcons and hawks. Furthermore, eagles belong to a different order named “Accipitriformes”.
Below are the distinctive features of eagles, which allow us to differentiate them from other species of family “Accipotridae”.
Usually, eagles are bigger than other raptors in their family. Although eagles are different in terms of their sizes, yet they still remain the largest among other birds of prey.
They have a large and strong beak. The size of their feet is also larger than other diurnal raptors. Besides, eagles tend to be more robust. Their strong body allows them to hunt larger prey.
The wings of an eagle are usually large. The primary feathers are so long, as they appear to be the long fingers located at the tip of an eagle’s wings. With this type of wing design, eagles can easily soar to great heights.
On the contrary, hawks have long and conical wings. These wings don’t allow hawks/falcons to fly at extreme heights.
Unlike that of falcons/hawks, eagles have a hooked beak. However, they lack serrated edges. Being a carnivorous predator, a sharp and strong beak helps eagles to rip the outer skin of their prey and consume its flesh.
Apart from being the strongest and largest of all the diurnal raptors, eagles can also fly at a fast speed. Due to their fast speed, it is possible for them to hunt prey while flying. However, the overall speed of hawks/falcons is greater than eagles.
Largest and Smallest
Eagles are relatively larger than most other raptors including falcons and hawks. The South Nicobar serpent eagle is the smallest species, which weighs 450 g or 1 lb. The height of this species can reach up to 40 cm.
In terms of wingspan and length, the Philippine eagle is the largest. On the other hand, Steller’s sea eagle and Harpy eagle are two of the largest species in terms of their weight.
The average height of a Philippine eagle is 3-feet (from head to tail). The weight of Harpy and Steller’s sea eagle can reach up to eighteen pounds.
Habitat of Eagles
Generally, eagles can adapt to almost all types of habitats. However, they prefer high mountain cliffs when it comes to building their nests. Besides, some species choose forests and jungles as suitable habitats.
For instance, Bald eagles love to reside on trees that are close to water bodies i.e. streams, lakes, and rivers. This is so, as their favorite food is fish.
However, when roosting, perching, or nesting, the Bald eagles choose trees such as coniferous, pine, and oak trees. The selection of a tree for nesting depends on its sturdiness and height.
For the nesting purpose, they choose tall trees and high cliffs. Eagles make sure no one comes close to their nest. However, humans are disturbing the habitat of these extremely sensitive birds through deforestation or urbanization.
Diet of Eagles
Generally, eagles prefer small vertebrates including fish, birds, and small mammals. They hunt their prey and eat its fresh meat. The list of their prey is extensive including a variety of birds, mammals, and other vertebrates.
An average-sized adult eagle can hunt small to medium mammals. The eagles living in the coastal areas prefer to hunt fish and smaller seabirds.
In those areas where live prey is hard to find, eagles may rely on the dead animals hunted by other predators. On average, an adult eagle requires 250g of meat or flesh.
Once consuming a large prey, an eagle doesn’t need to eat for several days. Although the stomach of an eagle is small, it can eat nearly one-third of its body weight. This is all due to an area within their esophagus known as “Crop”. It helps the eagles to store excessive food.
Besides, eagles can also consume and digest the bones of their prey. The stomach of an eagle secretes powerful acids, which makes it possible for the eagles to dissolve bones. Just like other raptors, eagles use their talons to kill their prey.
There are four sharp-edged talons on each foot. The sharp edges and crushing strength (400 Psi) kill prey within just a few seconds. The powerful wings of an eagle allow it to carry prey weighing nearly 1/3 of its body weight.
Under normal circumstances, an eagle becomes sexually mature after four to five years of their birth. There are certain indications, which show that a particular eagle has attained the age of maturity.
For instance, the white head and tail suggest that a Bald eagle is ready to breed. Eagles do behave aggressively during the breeding season. They fiercely defend their nests from intruders.
On average, the territory of a breeding pair can be somewhere between 100 to 250 acres. However, once the offspring have fledged, adult eagles can resume communal roosting.
Just like other animals, eagles also display courtship acts and gestures. This involves swooping flights and other acrobatic action during flight. These rituals serve as a way to test the agility, skills, and strength of a potential mate.
Eagles display these courtship rituals before they actually start to mate. The most recognized and famous of all the rituals is known as the “cartwheel courtship flight”.
During this type of courtship ritual, both the eagles lock their talon when flying high in the sky. After that, the eagles will start to fall towards the ground and leave each other at the last minute.
Once the courtship display is over and the male finds a suitable female, the next step is mating. The mating involves copulation where the male mounts on the female.
During this process, the cloaca of the male and female are touched together. This allows the sperms to enter the female’s cloaca. Copulation is repeated several times a day, as the mating continues for several days.
Eagles do mate for life
Usually, eagles prefer to stay together for life after mating for the first time. Nevertheless, if one of the paring eagles dies or doesn’t come back, the other mate will soon find a new partner.
The new couple will continue to live in the same nest for the coming years. This is so, as eagles have a strong bonding with their nests.
When do the eagles lay their eggs?
The breeding season depends on the temperature changes. In temperate areas, eagles may start to lay their eggs in February. However, in areas with less temperature, the eagles start to lay their eggs during May.
After a successful copulation, it takes at least 5-10 days for a female to start laying her eggs. The number of eggs in a clutch depends largely on the species of a female eagle. For instance, the average clutch of a Bald eagle consists of 1-3 eggs.
Although there are reports of four eggs in a clutch, this might be a rare event. The female lays one egg at a time. Besides, there is a gap of one or two days between each egg.
However, the Golden eagle takes three to four days while laying the next egg. The color of the eggs depends on the species. For example, the eggs of Bald eagle eggs are off-white and they are 2 inches wide and 3 inches long.
The average weight of an eagle’s egg ranges from 4 to 5 oz. Eagles usually have a single brood each year. However, in rare cases, they may have a second brood or replacement clutch. It is meant to replace the clutch that failed to hatch during the incubation.
The duration of an incubation period varies depending on the species. Generally, it takes almost 35 days for the eagle eggs to hatch. However, the incubation period for the eggs of Golden eagles may continue for 40 to 45 days.
The eggs need constant warmth and protection. This warmth comes from the body heat of the parenting eagles. Hence, both males and females sit on the eggs and perform other incubation responsibilities.
Nevertheless, female eagle tends to spend more time while keeping the eggs warm. The male usually hunts the prey and comes back to feed the female. To keep herself healthy and strong, the female also leaves the nest to hunt.
When the female is out, the male takes the responsibility of keeping the eggs warm. Once the incubation period is over, the young eagles start to hatch.
An eaglet takes a complete day to come out of the egg. The hatching of the eggs is in a similar order in which they were laid i.e. the egg that was laid first is hatched first.
Usually, it takes approximately 10-14 weeks for young eagles to start fledging. This period is relatively shorter for the Golden eagles. The offspring of this species start fledging after 7 to 11 weeks of their birth.
Before actually exhibiting their first flight, the nestlings will start to flap their wings while still within their nest. In some cases, the nestlings may jump to a close-by branch. This behavior is known as branching.
Most of the eagle species mate for their life. Apart from this, they also continue to use the nest for many years to come. A pair of Bald eagles can continue to breed and use a similar nest for thirty years.
The nesting activity usually starts in February. During this time of the year, new couples start to build their nests. Besides, the older eagles begin to do some repairs on their existing nests.
It is the responsibility of the male eagle to bring the sticks. The female eagle completes the task of repairing or constructing the nest.
Talking about the size, the nest of an eagle is relatively large. It has a diameter of four to six feet. Besides, the nest is three feet deep. In addition, the yearly repairs or maintenance work increases the actual size of a nest.
Eagles are sensitive when it comes to the safety of their nest. Once disturbed by natural calamity or human activity, eagles abandon their nest once for all. Hence, they have to construct a new nest elsewhere.
Difference between Eagles and Falcons
In fact, most of the people are confused between eagles and falcons. However, there are various distinctive features of both these birds.
To start with, eagles are relatively bigger and stronger than falcons. Their wing structure isn’t the same. The wings of eagles are rounded at their tips. On the contrary, falcons have long and pointed wings.
In addition, the color of a falcon’s eyes is dark brown. Nevertheless, the eyes of an eagle are pale yellow. Eagles are popular for their amazing eyesight. On the other hand, falcons are faster than eagles.
Apart from the above-mentioned differences, we have discussed some other distinctions between both these raptors.
Eagles belong to a family named “Accipitridae.” This family consists of 60 species of eagle. Eagles are found in various parts of the world including Africa, Eurasia, North, South/Central, America, and Australia.
Falcon on the other hand belongs to the family named “Falconidae”. This family consists of nearly 40 species. Falcons are available in almost every part of the world excluding Antarctica.
Although both the falcons and eagles are birds of prey, they differ in terms of their hunting techniques. The beak and head of an eagle are slightly heavier. Eagles have broader and longer wings.
The specially designed hooked beak of an eagle helps to tear the flesh of prey. They have strong legs to firmly grip their prey. The claws can also kill prey by clutching it so tightly that isn’t possible for the prey to continue breathing.
Falcons are less robust as compared to the hunting techniques of eagles. This is so, as falcons lack “Talons” This is why falcons prefer to prey on small birds i.e. pigeons and doves.
Nevertheless, eagles can catch a variety of small vertebrates such as snakes, fish, and the offspring of mammals and birds.
An eagle may be as big as 1 meter. It is among the largest birds on the earth that can fly. Due to this reason, there isn’t any predator out there that can prey on an adult eagle.
The height of a falcon ranges from 25cm to 60cm. Hence, falcons are relatively smaller than eagles. Although falcons are raptors, they are less powerful than eagles. Hence, they fall prey to a wide range of predators including wolves, eagles, and owls.
Eagles possess a strong and broad-chested body. Besides, eagles are very aggressive. Falcons are small and have a less strong body structure. Hence, they are less aggressive when compared to eagles.
Tomial tooth is a unique feature that is lacking in the eagles. This feature is available in the falcons. The tomial tooth is a triangular-shaped and sharp ridge, which is located on the upper area of a falcon’s beak.
The beak of a falcon is strong, yet it isn’t able to crush the bones. This tomial tooth helps falcons to break the vertebrae of prey.
The feathers of an eagle mostly come down to its toes. The wings are rounded. Besides, eagles also have a prominent ridge on the upper side of their eyes. This feature is absent in falcons.
The feathers cover most part of an eagle’s legs. The wings are slender with pointed edges. The wings are larger than the body of a falcon.
FAQs about Eagles
Listed below are some of the most common questions about eagles and their answers.
What is the name of a baby eagle?
A baby eagle is referred to as an eaglet.
What animals prey on eagles?
Being apex predators, eagles aren’t preyed upon by other birds or animals. Nevertheless, ravens, raccoons, and great horned owls may feed on the eagle eggs or eaglets.
Is it true that eagles are migratory birds?
Yes, it is true. Eagles do migrate during winter. Eagles prefer to live in warmer areas, which is the reason they migrate from colder regions to warmer locations.
What is the age when an eagle becomes sexually mature?
Usually, a young eagle becomes sexually mature during the fourth or fifth year of its birth. After this period, the juvenile eagle is ready to breed.
How powerful is an eagle’s eyesight?
No doubt, eagles have exceptionally powerful eyesight. This species can identify its prey from a distance of 3 km approx.
What is the highest altitude eagles can fly at?
Generally, it is possible for an eagle to reach an altitude of 10,000 ft. This allows them to cover huge distances by simply gliding against the wind.
What is the highest speed an eagle can achieve?
On average, eagles are capable of flying at a speed of 30 mph. However, their speed can increase while they dive to catch prey (100 to 150 mph).
What is the weight carrying capacity of an eagle?
Since eagles are raptors, they can hunt larger prey. They can lift a prey weighing between 60lb. to 85 lb.
Why do young Bald eagles look larger than adults?
Usually, the juvenile Bald eagles appear to be larger when compared with their parents. This is so, as during their first year of birth, the young bald eagles have longer flight feathers.
These feathers help them during fledgling when they are learning to fly. However, similar size wings will appear after the first molt.
What is Fledging?
Fledging is a stage when the offspring of a flying bird is getting ready to start its first flight. The parents feed the young nestlings until they become strong and start to grow wings. Fledglings start to practice flapping their wings after 10 to 14 weeks of their birth.
When an eaglet is ready to fly?
Normally, young eagles or eaglets are ready to fly after 10-15 weeks of their birth. For instance, the Golden eagles usually take 10 weeks when they are ready to fly or take their first flight.
While practicing, the eaglets leave their nest and land on another branch of the tree. This process is known as branching. Normally, the first flight involves a downward glide from the nest to the ground or another tree.
How much time an eaglet takes to grow to its full size?
Under normal circumstances, a healthy young eagle can attain a full size after 10 to 14 weeks. According to the scientists, the juvenile eagle takes a couple of weeks to grow into an adult eagle after its first flight.
However, this period is relatively short for the Golden eagles. The juveniles of this species can grow to their full size within 8-10 weeks. Their muscles and body size continue to grow for some time after fledging.
Is it possible to know the age of an eagle?
During the first five years, it is possible to judge the age of an eagle. This is done by looking at the plumage of a juvenile eagle. Every year the juvenile eagles undergo different color morphs.
This process continues for five consecutive years. Hence, the age of an eagle can be judged by the color of its plumage. After this period, the eagle achieves maturity.
Besides, the adult eagle also attains a permanent color for its plumage. Meaning thereby, the color of plumage will remain the same afterward. Hence, it won’t be possible to know the exact age of an eagle once it has reached adulthood.
Who feeds the eaglets?
When it comes to feeding the eaglets, both male and female eagles seriously perform this task. They tear the flesh into small pieces and feed their nestlings. However, they don’t manage to feed all the eaglets equally.
As a result, the strongest eaglet gets the major share of diet. Hence, it grows stronger and becomes healthier within less time.
Is it possible for the young eagles to return to their nest?
Juvenile or young eagles tend to be nomadic in their behavior. They cover an extensive area during the first years of their life. However, when they are ready to mate, they have a tendency to return to their birthplace.
However, the parents won’t allow a juvenile to come close to the nest. This is so, as they consider the young eagle as an intruder.
Is it normal for an eagle to attack humans?
Under normal conditions, it is not a common sight to see an eagle attacking a human. This is so, as the eagle attacks its prey. Humans are too large for eagles to lift.
However, eagles can attack a human trying to disturb their nestlings. While taking care of their nests, eagles become extremely protective and possessive. If a human tries to mess with the nestlings, eagles won’t tolerate such an act and may have no other choice but to attack.
Do Eagles Stay in their Nest while Sleeping?
Normally, eagles don’t prefer sleeping in their nests. On the contrary, they love to sleep or perch on the branch of a high tree.
Eagles have strong claws, which allow them to stick to the branch of a tree when they are sleeping. Hence, they don’t fall off the tree while sleeping.
However, they have to stay in their nest when incubating the eggs or raising the hatchlings. They have a strong attachment to their nest. Hence, they visit the similar nest every year to breed.
What is the average lifespan of a Bald Eagle?
When in the wild the chances of survival are relatively low. Hence, a Bald Eagle can live up to 20 to 30 years when out in the wild. On the contrary, this species can have a lifespan of 50 years when in captivity.
Why Bald Eagle is the national bird of America?
The majestic and elegant appearance of a Bald Eagle is one of the reasons why it has been declared as the national bird of the United States of America. Besides, it’s a sign of power and strength.
On the other hand, this bird is native to this continent, which makes it a perfect choice for symbolizing the USA.
Interesting Facts about Eagles
Listed below are a few of the most interesting facts that you would love to know.
Eagles possess a grip that is 10 times stronger than humans
Yes, it’s true. The claws of an eagle have strong muscles. These muscles have a tendency to grip tightly once something comes into contact.
Usually, they can lift a prey weighing a few pounds. However, large eagles are capable of lifting prey up to 5lbs. This is possible due to their strong wings and powerful grip.
Bald Eagle isn’t Bald
The bald eagle isn’t bald at all. On the contrary, the head of this species contains white feathers. The reason for naming this species as the bald eagle is different. The term bald comes from the English word “piebald”, which means “white-headed.”
Eagle is a bold, cunning, and intelligent bird
Apart from being fierce predators, eagles are clever too. They plan a strategy and implement it when hunting their prey. They usually dive on their prey when it is facing the sun. This makes them blind and renders it easy for the eagle to prey on them.
Convocation is a term used for a group of eagles
Generally, eagles don’t gather around, as they live a solitary life. However, when they gather in the shape of a group, it is known as convocation.
You can’t pick the feather of a Bald eagle without a permit
Picking a Bald eagle’s feather is not a joke! In fact, it is illegal to grab a feather of a Bald eagle without seeking a permit. This relates to an old law of the country, which hasn’t been changed.
The wingspan of an eagle can reach up to 8-feet
The Philippine Eagle and Harpy Eagle are known to be the largest eagles in the world. Their wingspan can be as long as 8 feet. This gives them the power to fly at high altitudes and cover huge distances.
The most commonly found eagle species is the Golden Eagle
The Golden eagle is common in the Northern Hemisphere. It is the most commonly found species of eagles. Besides, they can fly at a great speed. When diving, they can attain a speed of 200-mph.
The head of an eagle can turn 210-Degrees
This is among the most interesting facts about eagles. This bird is capable of turning its head nearly 210-degrees. This is possible as the neck of an eagle contains 14 vertebrae (humans have 7). As a result, they can easily locate their prey by looking through various angles.
Bald eagles love to snatch
Although bald eagles are powerful predators, yet they don’t lose a chance to snatch the prey of other birds. When a bald eagle sees another bird with large prey, it will chase the bird and snatch its prey. Besides, these birds can also feed on dead animals when prey isn’t available.
Due to their strength and agility, these birds have been a symbol of imperial power and war in Babylonian times.