The Eagle is one of the most amazing animals living on earth. Many people are in awe of how majestic an eagle is. Nothing beats watching an eagle hunting for prey in the open wilderness. Whether you’re in the Northern American Plains or the lush tropical jungles of Asia, seeing an eagle in flight is breathtaking.
Many people consider the Eagle as a symbol of justice and strength. In fact, nine countries have eagles on their flags. Nineteen countries also consider eagles as their national bird. Although the Eagle is a creature that inspires many people, this majestic creature isn’t safe from harmful human practices.
In some places, eagles are deliberately poisoned because they kill small livestock like chickens and newborn calves. Even if they aren’t hunted, eagles get unknowingly get caught up in nets and other acts of pest control. The sad fact is that eagles are dying fast, and their numbers can’t catch up.
Thankfully, governments worldwide, including those that consider the Eagle to be their national symbol, are taking steps to ensure its survival. With that said, here are some facts about eagles that will surely inspire you.
The Bald Eagle
One country that considers the Eagle a national symbol is the United States of America. This is one of the most significant eagle facts that you should know about. For Americans, the Bald Eagle represents freedom. You can see the bald Eagle in the coat of arms of the United States. In the seal, a bald eagle can be seen with its wings spread with a shield bearing the US flag.
On its left leg, the Eagle is grasping an olive branch which represents peace. The Eagle’s right leg is shown clutching arrows, so the US will be fierce in defending its country. In times of peace, the Eagle’s head is turned towards the olive branches. The Eagle’s head faces the arrows when the country is at war.
The Big Three
The largest eagles in the world are The Harpy Eagle, The Philippine Eagle, and the Steller’s Sea Eagle. These birds are known for their size and strength. In places such as the Amazon forest and some remote areas in the Philippines, there are tales of eagles large enough to carry small children if they are naughty.
Although these tales are mostly fiction, eagles from those species can carry heavier objects. For example, Harpy Eagles have been seen carrying dead sloths that are eerily similar in size with children. Because of their sharp claws, heavy build, and incredible speed, many people consider the Harpy Eagle the modern-day Raptor.
How Eagles Hunt
Eagles are fantastic creatures that most people look up to. However, there’s something in the way eagles hunt that can make people feel like they’re watching a horror movie. When eagles hunt, they scour the sky at high distances so their prey can’t detect them. As the Eagle sees a potential target, it circles the prey. Once it gets a chance, an eagle can use its great speed to drop on its food.
With its weight, speed, and sharp claws, an eagle can instantly kill a small animal from such heights. On the off chance that prey is still alive, eagles will carry them to an incredible height and drop them on the ground.
The US is Serious
As mentioned earlier, many governments are implementing strict measures to protect their eagles. The US, for one, is the most serious about protecting its eagles. You could get arrested in the US if you picked up the feather from a Bald Eagle without a proper license or permit.
The Lifespan of an Eagle
Out in the wild where they truly belong, healthy eagles can live up to 20 years. Because of human activity, eagle populations all over the world are being threatened. Most eagle species only lay 1-4 eggs. From these four eggs, there’s no guarantee that all of them will reach maturity. Eaglets in the wild have a 50% of dying from natural causes.
Combine this high mortality rate with hunting and other harmful practices; it’s no wonder eagle numbers are dwindling. Thankfully, conservation efforts are being made to help these animals. In some reserves all over the world, eagles born in captivity have lived up to 50-70 years. In most cases, Eagles who are old enough to fend for their own, are often released in the wild to help with population growth efforts.
If you’re looking for a national symbol, then you can’t go wrong with an eagle. With these creatures representing strength, peace, and justice, it’s no wonder why a lot of countries look up to these birds. Sadly, admiration isn’t enough to save these eagles from extinction. Thankfully, governments worldwide are helping with conservation and captive breeding to prevent these modern-day raptors from becoming extinct.