Eagle is the common name given to different species of large predatory or birds of prey , related to the family Accipitridae or accipitriformes, formerly called falconiformes .
Although these are of various genera and there is no consensus classification among them, in general when we talk about eagles we refer to large birds, with sharp and strong claws and beaks, of robust constitution and predatory habits.
The eagles are the most powerful birds that are known , capable of fighting with a heavy prey between their claws with an extremely sharp sight that allows them to detect their prey in the distance.
This has covered them in the eyes of human beings of importance and power within their niche: they are usually considered the queen of birds .
Eagle Flight Performance
From the ground it may seem that a large bird barely soars above the ground, spreading its wings wide. However, the "flight" performance of the eagle is very impressive. During the “soaring”, the eagle can fly at a speed of 190 to 240 kilometers per hour (even when driving on the highway, you can’t catch it!). The illusion of slow movement develops due to the huge flight altitude - over 700 meters. And he dives with exorbitant 320 kilometers per hour, which is generally amazing. The device of the wings of an eagle with widespread “fingers” at the tips provides stronger air flows from below than from above the wing, and causes a high lifting force of the bird. So the predator got the ability to soar without moving its wings. And to work with them, only taking off and accelerating during the pursuit of prey. In addition, his flight is very stable. The eagle is able to fold wings a bit, leaving its tips wide apart, and withstand a smooth flight during a hurricane.
The eagle has very sharp eyesight with a wide coverage. Each eye of an eagle is capable of focusing immediately on 2 objects (a person has one), visual acuity allows you to see a hare at a distance of more than three kilometers, and it can cover 270 degrees with a peripheral look. From an altitude of flight, the eagle is able to see prey on a surface of 11.5 kilometers. All this is intended to make the bird an excellent hunter, able to see prey at a great distance and able to accurately calculate the distance for attacking it.
The Size of the Eagle
Eagles can vary in size and constitution depending on the species , but they are usually large birds, with fierce behavior and solid body, capable of undertaking the flight quickly from any point.
Their heads are large and with their strong beaks they can tear raw meat from their prey. A good-sized eagle can weigh about 7 or 8 kg or more and measure about 95 cm tall. In all species, however, the female is larger than the male.
Where can you find eagles the most.
Eagles can be found on any of the five continents , except Antarctica , adapted very well to the climatic and biotic conditions of each region.
Most of the species inhabit Europe , Asia and Africa , with just 3 of them in Australia , 2 in North America and 9 in the rest of America .
Eagles are excellent predators , although they can eventually resort to carrion to survive. They are carnivorous and their hunting habits are different from those of other species of birds of prey, since eagles should not worry about being predated (they are at the top of the trophic pyramid) and can hunt with total tranquility.
This helps them a lot their prodigious sight (more than 3 times the human), able to see its prey almost 2 km away, as well as its tenacious claws and its sharp and sharp beak.
Their favorite prey are, depending on their size and habitat, small rodents, lizards or lizards , snakes , other smaller birds , fish , etc.
what is the size of Eagle Wings
Depending on the species, the wingspan of an eagle can reach astonishing dimensions greater than two meters in length , especially when flying, when it keeps them still, firm, like sails of a boat in high wind.
Interesting facts about the eagle chicks
Talking about the chicks that are born in the families of feathered predators, it is worth noting the following:
- The eagle mainly incubates eggs, but the male actively helps her in this, replacing it if necessary;
- Egg incubation lasts 40-45 days, depending on the type of eagle;
- Also, depending on the type of clutch, it can consist of 1-3 eggs;
- If the chick does not appear alone, the first 2 months a competition occurs - the stronger one tries to get rid of his brother or sister. If in 2 months this cannot be done, peace reigns in the nest, the chicks no longer conflict;
- At 3 months, parental care for him ceases, the chick is able to hunt independently;
- Maturity comes to a mighty bird only in 4 - 5 years.
Relationship with humans
When European settlers began to colonize North America, the eagles population began to decline. In addition to the destruction of the habitat for the construction of civilizations, the colonists considered these huge competing birds as prey and killed them. The settlers also believed that they would kill their cattle. We now know that they rarely feed on young or weak cattle.
The bald eagles population, already weakened by years of vilification , suffered even more with the introduction of the DDT insecticide. This insecticide caused the eagles, and many other birds of prey, to decrease in number. The chemical, when consumed, causes the eggshells of birds to become thin and easily breakable, and often makes them sterile. In 1963 there were only 471 pairs of eagles in the United States.
The reproduction of the eagles occurs, as in all birds by internal fertilization, after intercourse . Then the female deposits two eggs in a previously constructed nest.
Of the two chicks that are born, only one survives , because the first one that is born and feeds is stronger and displaces the other, without the parents intervening in it.
The care of the parents will last around a year and a half, period after which the offspring must leave the nest. Eagles are monogamous and year after year they repair their nest , usually built at high altitude and made up of sticks, branches and soft materials for the interior. These nests can become really heavy.
How long does an eagle live?
The longevity of the eagle ranges on average between about 14 and 25 years , since it lacks natural predators. Bulky species tend to live longer.
The eagle in culture
The eagle has been for humanity, in different geographies, a symbol of power, nobility, purity, virtue and beauty . For this reason it is often found in flags, shields, statues and coins, as well as the emblem of contemporary products or sports equipment. Just to mention a few examples:
- He crowned the temples to Jupiter in the Ancient Roman Empire .
- The double-headed eagle was the banner of Emperor Charles I of Spain .
- It is one of the symbols of medieval alchemy .
- The bald eagle is a symbol of the United States.
State of preservation of the eagle
Many eagle species are currently in danger of extinction, due to indiscriminate logging and damage caused by human industries in their native habitats, such as the extension of roads, electrical wiring, etc.
This has caused many international ecological initiatives to manage conservation areas of different eagle species, hoping to repopulate their habitats.
Representative eagles species
Some of the representative species of the eagle are:
- Bald eagle ( Haliaeetus leucocephalus ). Known as an American eagle or white-headed, it is native to North America and is protected after being in danger of extinction.
- Harpy eagle ( Harpia harpyja ). Famous for its colors and gray crest, it is the largest eagle in America, similar to the Philippine eagle. It abounds in Central and South America, in the Amazon rainforest.
- Iberian imperial eagle ( Aquila adalberti ). Of very dark brown hue and a large average size, it is typical of the Iberian Peninsula, especially in Andalusia.
- Golden Eagle ( Aquila chrysaetos ). Symbol of different royal houses in Europe, it is a very abundant species, with dark but bright plumage and intense yellow legs. With aerodynamic body and curved peak at the end, it can be found on all continents, generally preferring warm climates .
- Black eagle ( Buteogallus urubitinga ). Brown and medium to large in size, it is known as an African eagle because it is native to the Middle East and Africa, especially the Arabian Peninsula and Sudan. It is considered an especially "quiet" eagle, although it has been seen devouring monkeys, herons, reptiles or even carrion when necessary.
As an animal of power, the eagle is most frequently associated with wisdom and freedom. Here are additional symbolic meanings for your totem:
- Sexual power
How many eagles are there today?
- Bald Eagle - 70,000
- Steller's Eagle - 6,400
- European or white-tailed eagle - 22,000
- Eastern eagle or white-bellied - between 10,000 to 100,000
- Malagasy Eagle - 80 (considered one of the rarest birds in the world)
- Eagle of Pallas - 2,500 to 10,000
- Sanford Eagle - 375 to 1,500
- Vocinglera eagle - 300,000