Eagles are the large and powerful birds of prey that belong to the Animalia kingdom, Chordata phylum, Aves class, Accipitriformes order, and Accipitridae family. The family name “Accipitridae” is derived from the Latin word “accipiter,” meaning “hawk.” This family has many other birds, including kites, vultures, and hawks.
The larger size, massive beak, fully feathered (crested) head, feet with curved talons, small projections called spicules on the bottom of their feet, and foraging habits of subsisting on live prey differentiate Eagles from other birds. They are called the king of all birds and are symbols of freedom, power, war, and transcendence.
Their resemblance has been found in Roman and Greek ruins, medals, and coins. There are over 60 different species of Eagles. The informal groups of Eagles that are not taxonomical include Sea eagles, Forest eagles, Serpent Eagles, and Booted eagles. Some common types of Eagles are Bald eagles, Harpy eagles, Golden eagles, Stellar sea eagles, and White-tailed eagles.
They are found almost everywhere in the world. They are distributed from Eurasia, Africa, North America, Central, and South America to Australia. They inhabit every single type of habitat, from northern tundra to tropical deserts and rainforests. Bald eagles and Golden eagles are mostly found in North America. Nine species of Eagle are native to Central and South America.
They exhibit exceptional vision (20/5 or 20/4 when translated into human terms) because of the large size of their pupils, large density of light-detecting cells in the retina, and structure of fovea having pit at the back of the eye which is responsible for sharp vision. They can spot preys that are far away, even in flight, and can also see in ultraviolet range because of their exceptional vision, i.e., four to eight times farther than humans.
The 14 vertebrae in Eagles enable them to rotate their necks to a greater degree. They exhibit remarkable speed. They are mostly sedentary, but few species may exhibit partial or full migration. Eagles living in groups are called congregation, convocation, or aerie. They mostly make sounds during the breeding season.
Eagles are at the top of the food chain because they are apex predators. They feed on fish, snakes, amphibians, and other mammals. These birds are monogamous that mate for life. The nesting sites are inaccessible cliffs and trees that are made of moss, sticks, lichens, and other plant materials. Certain courtship rituals include some aerial performances and synchronized behaviors. Most Eagles lay 1 to 3 eggs per year.
Some of the predators of these birds are owls, hawks, raccoons, and bobcats. Overhunting, habitat loss, and the use of pesticides, that pollute the water and environment are some threats to these birds. However, pesticide use and hunting are regulated in many places, which in turn are recovering the number of Eagles. The conservation status of Eagles depends upon individual species, but overall they are listed as near threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Their average lifespan is 15 to 30 years.
Eagle Bird Size:
The Eagle is one of the largest birds. Their average size is about 40 centimeters to 100 centimeters or 15.7 inches to 39.3 inches. Harpy eagles and Steller’s sea eagles are the largest species of Eagles. Females are usually larger in size as compared to males, most probably because of the protection of their young ones from any danger, especially when males are away.
Eagle Bird Of Prey:
Eagles are large-sized, heavy beaked, large footed, and powerfully built birds of prey. They are considered the largest raptors because of the large hooked beaks and curved talons on their feet for ripping the flesh of their prey.
Eagle Bird Symbolism:
Eagle bird symbolizes devotion, loyalty, freedom, truth, honor, divine, foresight, hope, and psychic awareness. It also symbolizes characteristics of new beginnings and gives hope to those who have been experiencing difficult times in life. It teaches us the importance of leadership and authority.
It is a symbol of sacredness because of its ability to fly high in the sky. It is considered as the closest creature to the creator of this world and the world hereafter in North American culture.
Dreaming about Eagles can have different meanings.
- If you see the free movements of Eagle, then it means courage and freedom.
- If you see negative features of Eagle, then it means superiority.
- If you see feeding an Eagle, then it means you will experience a good financial career.
- If you see an Eagle catching any prey, then it means that you have to be careful about the people around you.
Eagles have different meanings in different mythologies. They are considered the oldest creatures with respect to age and wisdom in Celtic mythology. They are also considered spirit animals.
They are inspiring messengers. Because of their ability to soar high, they are considered as the powerful animal totem that teaches us to look closely even at the minutest of details of our life and avail all the opportunities. People who are guided by Eagles are grounded and have a solid foundation.
Eagle Bird Facts:
Some of the facts about Eagle birds are as follows,
- Eagles are found in Eurasia, Africa, Central America, North America, and Australia.
- They had probably evolved from kites 36 million years ago.
- They are the symbols of strength and power.
- The eye of an eagle is of the same size as the human eye.
- They are the largest birds of prey.
- They exhibit exceptional eyesight.
- Their most distinctive features are long, curved beaks and sharp claws.
- They are carnivores and feed on fish, mammals, and reptiles.
- They inhabit coastal regions and open waters like rivers and lakes.
- They usually have a solitary lifestyle.
- Their nesting sites are trees and cliffs.
- Some predators of Eagles are humans, hawks, and raccoons.
- Overhunting, habitat loss, and pesticide use are the biggest threats to these birds.
- They are recorded as “near threatened” by IUCN.
- Their average lifespan is 15 to 30 years.
Eagle Bird Species:
There are almost 60 species of Eagles included in different genera. Following are some common species of Eagles,
Fish Eagles/Sea Eagles:
They are called Haliaeetus species. They are found in coastal areas. Their primary diet includes fish. The largest Sea eagle is Stellar’s sea eagle (Haliaeetus pelagicus). Bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) are the only Sea eagles of North America. They are the national birds of the United States. The White-bellied sea eagles (Hieraaetus leucogaster) are found along the coasts of Australia. White-tailed sea eagles (Hieraaetus albicilla) are native to Europe, southwestern Greenland, and the Middle East.
They belong to Spizastur, Spizaetus, Lophaetus and Hieraaetus genera and Accipitrinae subfamily. They have fully feathered legs, large feet, and beaks. They feed on all kinds of small animals.
Snake Eagles And Serpent Eagles:
There are six species of Serpent eagles that are included in the Circaetinae subfamily. They are found in Asia. They are hunters of reptiles, especially snakes.
They are found in tropical rainforests of Central America, Mexico, and South America. They are large, powerful, and crested eagles. The great Harpy eagle (Harpia harpyjal) is 1 meter long and has a dark crest on its head.
Their scientific name is Aquila chrysaetos. They are found in Asia, Europe, and North America.
Eagle Bird As Pet:
Eagles can serve as good pets. They stand out because of their uniqueness in size, power, and strength as compared to other birds. Before owning an Eagle as a pet, you should consider all the laws and regulations.
They require high maintenance, which is also very costly, so you have to give them additional care. You have to clean their cage on a regular basis to avoid any disease. If your pet gets some disease, make sure to get proper professional help from a veterinarian.
Eagle Bird Diet:
They are called apex predators because they are first on the food chain. They mostly feed on fish, snakes, crabs, small birds, amphibians, and other mammals. They are carnivores. They exhibit strong curved beaks and sharp talons to capture and tear the flesh of prey.
Eagle Bird Characteristics:
Some of the characteristics exhibited by Eagles are as follows,
- Eagles are among the largest birds of prey.
- They have excellent vision because their eyes are specially designed to focus on long distances.
- They are fearless and tenacious.
- They have sharp talons and massive curved beaks to capture prey.
- They have a fully feathered head that is crested.
- They are high fliers and can fly up to an altitude of about 10,000 feet.
- They do not perform scavenging and eat only by killing the prey themselves.
- They live for more than 30 years.
Eagles are among the largest raptors that are found in Eurasia, Africa, Central America, North America, and Australia. They are well known for their exceptional eyesight, large curved beaks, sharp talons, excellent speed, and remarkable flying ability. They have been known as spirit animals symbolizing sacredness, power, freedom, truth, and loyalty. They are also included in many mythologies. They are endangered, but their population is rising because of the regulation of overhunting and pesticide use.