Spotting an eagle is a rare moment for many people, but when the chance arises, how much do you actually know about these beautiful birds?
Here we’re going to look at the top 30 interesting facts about eagles.
There are over 60 different species of eagle, most of them from Africa, Asia and Europe.
Despite the bald eagle being an emblem of the United States, just two species can be found on the continent.
The eagle is known to be one of the strongest birds able to carry the heaviest loads, with one being recorded carrying 15 lbs (6.8 kg).
Eagles vary in length, weight and other dimensions due to their environments in many cases. Eagles living in forested areas will likely have shorter wing spans, while those living in open areas will have longer wing spans.
A typical adult male eagle weights just nine pounds (4.1 kg), despite its strength and large size.
With a height of 3.5 feet (1.1 meters) and a wing span of 7.5 feet (2.3 meters), the average male bald eagle is one of the largest birds around.
The bald eagle takes its name from the fact it has a white head while the rest of its body is brown.
The eagle featured on U.S. currency was modeled on a real bald eagle named Peter who used to live on top of the U.S. Mint. After his death in 1836, Peter was stuffed and is still on display inside the very building upon which he once nested.
Eagles have been used in the police and the army several times, and in The Netherlands, eagles were trained to help control drones.
It is thought that larger eagles lived in New Zealand until the year 1400. Their wing spans may have reached up to 9.8 foot (3 meters).
In Scandinavia, some eagles have built nests so heavy that they have broken the tree.
Bald eagles can mate while flying or free falling.
An eagle’s beak contains keratin, which means that it grows all the time just like human hair and fingernails.
During the first half of the 20th Century, bald eagles were considered a threat to the salmon fishing industry and over 100,000 eagles were killed.
The eagle has long been considered “The King of Birds”.
In many countries, the eagle is thought to bring good luck, which is one reason it has been featured on various national flags.
A mother eagle will generally lay two eggs, although in most cases, one of the baby eagles is stronger than its sibling and will kill the weaker one.
The eagle is built to be strong and powerful among other creatures. Its beak and talons enable it to be threatening and ruthless, and its amazing eyesight allows the eagle to see long distances for prey.
It takes a number of years for a baby eagle to grow its talons fully.
Although eagles can live up to 70 years, this isn’t always the case and they normally become weaker towards the end of their lives, unable to hunt as they used to.
An eagle’s brilliant eyesight is owed in part to its sizeable eyes, which can take up around 50% of the head.
A male and female eagle tend to stay together all their lives, building nests every year in the same place. It’s fair to say eagles are creatures of habit!
The female eagle will spend most of the 35 days keeping her eggs warm, while the male ensures food is brought to the nest.
Eagles do not all feed on the same food. Some eagles will feed on mainly fish, while others feed on other, smaller mammals.
When baby eagles are born, they are covered in gray feathers and don’t have the typical brown and white pattern until they are 4 years old.
The bald eagle was endangered in 1967 and there were less than 500 eagles left. Fifty years later in 2007, it was removed from the endangered list but is still protected.
A rare species of eagle is the smallest kind, the South Nicobar Serpent Eagle. It weighs just one pound (0.45 kg) but can fly faster than many other birds of this size.
Baby eagles of the larger species will weigh around 8-9 (3.5 – 4 kg) pounds after just a few days.
A Martial Eagle once killed a deer weighing 82 pounds (37kg). This was despite the fact the eagle only weighed around 10-12 pounds (4.5 – 5.5 kg) itself.
Eagle feathers are in high demand across North America, but it is illegal to hunt or kill eagles and get them.