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Animals - Eagle

Eagle Facts

Kingdom:    Animalia

Phylum:    Chordata

Class:    Aves

Order:    Falconiformes

Family:    Accipitridae

Scientific Name:    Hieraatus Spilogaster

Type:    Bird

Diet:    Omnivore

Size (H):    40cm - 100cm (15.7in - 39.3in)

Wing Span:    70cm - 250cm (27.5in - 98in)

Weight:    0.5kg - 7kg (1.1lbs - 15.4lbs)

Top Speed:    160km/h (100mph)

Life Span:    15 - 30 years

Lifestyle:    Solitary

Conservation Status:    Threatened

Colour:    Black, Grey, Brown, White, Yellow

Skin Type:    Feathers

Favourite Food:    Fish

Habitat:    Open waters like rivers, lakes and coastal regions

Average Clutch Size:    2

Main Prey:    Fish, Mammals, Reptiles

Predators:    Human, Hawk, Raccoon

Distinctive Features:    Long curved beak and strong, sharp claws

The eagle is a (generally) large sized bird of prey meaning that the eagle is one of the most dominant predators in the sky. Eagles are most commonly found in the Northern Hemisphere including Europe, Asia and North America. Eagles are also found on the African continent.

There are more than 60 different species of eagle in the world with only 2 of these eagle species being found in the USA and Canada. However, one of these eagle species is one of the most common species of eagle, the bald eagle. Despite it's name the bald eagle has a full head of feathers but their bright white colour makes the bald eagle very distinguishable. The golden eagle is the only other species of eagle found on the American continent.

The size of an eagle is dependent on the species of eagle. Eagles can range in size from 40cm to over 1m in height. The wing span of an eagle tends to be at least double the length of the eagle's body. Eagles have feathers on the ends of their wings which the eagles move up and down to help them when flying.

Eagles are dominant predators and are known as birds of prey. Eagles feed off smaller birds and bats in the sky and small mammals and fish on the ground. The eagle is well known for it's incredible eyesight. An eagle's eyesight is so good that an eagle can apparently see a mouse on the ground when the eagle is still high in the sky.

The eagle is used as a symbol in many national flags and emblems all around the world, as an eagle is believed to resemble power or good fortune. Eagles are dominant and ruthless predators in their environment and eagles therefore have very few natural predators themselves. Eagles are most likely to be hunted by smaller animals when they are chicks or still young and inexperienced so they are fairly vulnerable.

Female eagles build their nests in tall tree tops or on high cliffs where they are at their safest. The mother eagle tends to lay two eggs, which hatch after about a month. In many eagle species however, one of the eagle chicks is naturally slightly stronger than the other chick, with the stronger chick generally killing it's weaker sibling.

Eagles have adapted well to their dominant predatory lifestyle. Not only do eagles have exceptional eyesight and are about to soar remarkably quickly through the air for such a large bird, but eagles also have pointed beaks and agile feet known as talons. The beak of the eagle is perfectly designed for ripping flesh away from bone, and the talons of the eagle are so strong that the eagle is able to carry it's prey in it's feet until it reaches a safe place to eat it.

Eagle Foot Facts

The eagle has very specially adapted large, clawed feet which are known as talons.

The talons of the eagle are powerful and strong and allow the eagle to catch prey on the ground or in water when the eagle is still in the air.

The talons of the eagle are designed to carry prey through the air and they are strong enough to hold onto a fish which weighs more than the eagle.

The feet of an eagle have four strong toes, and at the end of these toes are large, curved claws which enables the eagle to hook onto its prey.

The talons of a baby eagle are very short when compared to the talons of an adult eagle, and it takes a few years for the feet of the baby eagle to be fully sized.

Eagle Teeth Facts

Eagles have very sharp and pointed beaks which the eagle often uses to grab prey with.

The eagle uses the sharply pointed beak to bite animals at the base of their skull to kill them before swallowing them whole.

The beak of an eagle is extremely strong and powerful, although they will rarely carry their prey in their beak for large distances.

The beak of an eagle is made out of keratin and therefore is growing constantly, much like the hair and fingernails of a human being.

The beak of the eagle is almost as long as the head of an eagle and the eagle uses the hooked end of the beak to rip apart prey that this too big to swallow whole.

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