Eagles – Riders of the Wind
Eagles are members of the same family as hawks and Old World vultures. They are found throughout the world, except for Antarctica. This bird is called the “king of birds” because of its majestic appearance and power of flight. They have excellent eyesight.
There are more than 50 species of eagle. The main groups of eagles are sea eagles, booted eagles, forest eagles, and serpent eagles. Their feet are large and strong, armed with sharp claws, and are well-suited for grasping prey.
The bald eagle is one of North America’s largest birds of prey with a wingspan of up to 2.3 m. They feed primarily on fish, but also eat rodents, other small mammals and carrion. They are solitary birds that typically mate for life and build huge platform nests in tall trees or cliff ledges. A female usually lays 2 to 3 eggs once a year.
An average bald eagle measures 81 to 107 centimeters long, weighs between 2.7 and 7.3 kilograms. Females are generally larger than males. The distinctive white head and tail feathers appear after the eagle is four to seven years old. These birds may live 30 years or longer in the wild.
In 1972 there were only 3,000 bald eagles in the entire United States. The reason for the decreasing population was pollution of the rivers by pesticides. In 1962, marine biologist and writer Rachel Carson published Silent Spring. The book documented the dangers of pesticides. In large part because of this famous book, DDT was banned for most uses in the United States in 1972.
Since ancient times, eagles have served as symbols of royal power, appearing on coins, flags, and standards. In 1782, the United States Congress adopted the bald eagle as the country’s national emblem.
The golden eagle has been a symbol of power since ancient times. It is found in North America, Europe, Asia, and northern Africa. This species has dark-brown plumage, and its wingspan is as great as 2 m.
The largest species of eagle is the harpy eagle of tropical forests of South America.
The Philippine eagle, also known as the monkey–eating eagle, is one of the rarest and most endangered birds of prey in the world. It measures 86 to 102 centimeters long. The eagle hunts for monkeys from treetops or by gliding over the forest canopy. It also feeds on large birds and small deer. It is found on the Philippine islands of Leyte, Luzon, Mindanao, and Samar.
The sea eagle or white-tailed eagle is a widespread species that breeds in coastal habitats from Greenland and Iceland, through Europe, to Asia.
– Eagles use the same nest year after year, returning to it with the same mate.
– They have figured prominently in religion, mythology, art, literature.
– The height of their flight is up to 7-9 kilometers.
– In antiquity eagles were considered a symbol of victory and luck, and in Egypt and China it is a symbol of the sun.
– The eagle is on the arms of many countries of the world, including Russia.
– Eagle can lift a small deer into the air.