eagle

INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT EAGLES

Eagles are one of the most majestic of all the birds in the sky. But don’t be fooled, they can be deadly if trifled with. Here are some of the most interesting facts about eagles that you may not have known.

• There are currently over 60 sixty species of eagles in the world and are scattered around different parts of the globe. Most can be found in Eurasia and Africa but some species are also found in America and Australia.

• A large majority of eagle species are mainly carnivorous but there is the Vulturine Fish eagle, mainly found in the sub-Saharan plains of Africa that eats the fruit of the oil palm.

• The world’s largest eagles are able to kill and carry animals as large as deer, goat and monkeys. These eagles have huge wingspans of more than 250cm or 8ft and examples of such birds of prey are the Harpy eagle and Philippine eagle.

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• In most eagle species, the females are stronger and larger than the male eagles.

• There are some eagles which are capable of soaring for hours on end without a single wing flap. They are able to do this by taking advantage of columns of hot rising air.

• Most eagle species only lay two eggs. It is very common for the larger chick to kill the younger chick once it hatches. The parents do nothing to stop this killing.

• The heaviest eagle in the world is the Steller’s sea eagle with some specimens in over 9kg or 20lbs.

• Eagles’ have amazing eyesight. We all know this fact but what you may not have known is that they have a million light-sensitive cells per square millimetre of the retina, this is almost 5 times more than what humans have. Eagles can also see in five colours while humans can see in three. These adaptations make the eagle’s eyesight extremely sharp and lets them to find prey (even if they are camouflaged) from extremely far away distances.

• The largest nest found for any animal species was built by a bald eagle. It weighed a whopping 1 metric ton and was 4m deep and 2.5m wide.

• Eagles are extremely intelligent birds. There is a species of eagles found in Greece that feeds on turtles. They pick up the turtles and drop them on rocks from a great height to break open their hard shells.

• Eagles are very common symbols in heraldry. They are considered the ‘King of the birds’ like how the lion is considered to be the ‘King of the beasts’. Around 25 countries today, have eagles depicted on their coat of arms.

• Bald eagles are not actually bald. The name is derived from an older word, piebald which means white headed.

• Eagles have a specialized mechanism in their feet that lock up on a branch. This allows them to sleep while being perched upon a tree.

• Around 4% of the eagles’ body mass is made up of feathers. This roughly equates to around 7000 feathers!