Eagle is a huge bird which belongs to the family of diurnal birds of prey. There are over 60 species of an eagle which can be found throughout the world except on the Antarctica and New Zealand. Eagle can survive in different habitats: canyons, mountains, forests, open plains and areas near the water. Critical threats to the survival of eagles in the wild are pollution of the water and soil, habitat destruction, and hunting. Thanks to the great conservation efforts, some of the previously threatened species of eagle, like Bald Eagle are showing the signs of a significant recovery.
They’re huge, strongly built birds of prey, having a massive beak and head. Even the smallest eagles like a booted eagle (that’s comparable in size to the red-tailed hawk or common buzzard), have moderately longer and more evenly large wings, and more direct, and faster flight – despite the decreased size of the aerodynamic feathers.
Many eagles are bigger than other raptors apart from a few vultures. The smallest eagle species is the South Nicobar Serpent-eagle, at 0.99 lb (450 g) and 16 in (40 cm).
Like all other birds of prey, eagles have gigantic hooked beaks for ripping flesh from their prey, strong muscular legs, and talons. The beak is typically heavier than that of most other birds of prey.
Eagles’ eyes are extremely powerful, having about 3.6 times human acuity for a martial eagle that allows them to spot any potential prey from a so long distance. This keen eyesight is mainly attributed to their significantly huge pupils that ensure low diffraction (scattering) of any incoming light. The female of all known Eagles’ species is bigger than the male.
Eagles usually build their nests, known as eyries, on high cliffs or in tall trees. Several species lay 2 eggs, but the older, bigger chick regularly kills its younger sibling after it has hatched. The main chick tends to be a female, as they’re larger than the male. The parents usually don’t take any action to stop the killing.
Depending power and size of several eagle species, they’re ranked at the topmost of the food chain since apex predators in an avian world. The kind of prey differs by genus. The Ichthyophaga and Haliaeetus eagles choose to capture fish, even though the species in the latter often capture different animals, especially other aquatic birds.
The snake and the serpent eagles of the genera Terathopius, Circaetus, and Spilornis mostly prey on the significant diversity of snakes that exist in the tropics of Asia and Africa. The eagles of the genus Aquila are usually the top birds of prey in various open habitats, taking nearly any medium-sized vertebrate they can capture.
Where Aquila eagles don’t exist, other eagles, like the buteonine black-chested buzzard-eagle found in South America, may take the position of leading raptorial predator in the open areas. Several other Eagles, consisting of the species-rich Spizaetus genus, live mainly in forest and woodlands. These eagles usually target different ground-dwelling mammals or arboreal and birds, that are usually innocently ambushed in such dense, and knotty environments.
Hunting techniques vary among the genera and species, with some distinct Eagles having engaged in quite diverse methods based their prey and environment at any given period. Many eagles grasp prey without landing and even take flight with it so that the prey can be easily carried to the perch and torn apart.
The bald eagle is common for having flown with the weightiest load verified to be comfortably carried by any other flying bird since one eagle managed to fly with a 15 lb. (6.8 kg) mule deer fawn.
Nonetheless, some Eagles may target prey significantly heavier than themselves; such prey is very heavy to fly with; hence, it’s either eaten at the place of the kill or even taken in pieces back to the nest or perch.
Crowned and golden eagles have killed ungulates weighing almost 66 lb. (30 kg) and a martial eagle even killed 82 lb. (37 kg) duiker, seven to eight times heavier than the preying eagle.
10 Interesting Eagle Facts:
1. Eagle can reach 16-39 inches in length and 0.99-15 pounds of weight.
2. Many species of eagle are covered with yellowish-brown, grey, and brown plumage.
3. Eagle is the territorial animal. It inhabits the territory of 50 -00 square miles, based on the species.
4. Males perform different acrobatics in the air to attract females during the season of mating. Formed couples often last for a lifetime.
5. Females lay two to four eggs in the nest on top of a tree or cliff. The male does not take part in the incubation, but it gives food for the females during this period.
6. Female lays 2 to 4 eggs in the nest on the cliff or top of a tree. The male doesn’t participate in the incubation, but it provides food for the female during this period.
7. Most of the species lay two eggs, but eventually have only one chick, because older, bigger sibling often kills smaller chick to make sure to get more food for itself.
8. Eagle reaches its sexual maturity at the age of four to five years.
9. Eagle is the symbol of freedom and power in the whole world. It can be seen on the coat of army of some nations like Poland, Egypt, Germany and Mexico.
10. Eagle can survive for about 35 years in the wild.