Species In This Category

About Eagles

Eagle is a common name for many large birds of prey of the family Accipitridae; it belongs to several groups of birds that are not necessarily closely related to each other. Most of the 60 species of eagles are from Eurasia and Africa. Outside this area, just 14 species can be found – two in North America (Bald Eagles and Golden Eagles), nine in Central and South America, and three in Australia. Two species of eagles can be found at Carolina Raptor Center. Bald Eagles fall in the category of "fish eagle" or "sea eagle." Sea eagles or fish eagles take fish as a large part of their diets, either fresh or as carrion. Golden Eagles are a member of the "booted eagle" category. Booted eagles or "true eagles" have feathered tarsi (lower legs).

Eagle Facts

  1. Due to the size and power of many eagle species, they are ranked at the top of the food chain as apex predators in the avian world.(1)
  2. The Bald Eagle is noted for having flown with the heaviest load verified to be carried by any flying bird, since one eagle flew with a 6.8 kg (15 lb) mule deer fawn.(2)
  3. Eagles are an exceptionally common symbol in heraldry, being considered the "King of Birds" in contrast to the lion, the "King of Beasts". They are particularly popular in Germanic countries, due to their association with the Roman Empire and its claimed successor the Holy Roman Empire. The eagle of the Holy Roman Empire was two-headed, supposedly representing the two divisions, East and West, of the old Roman Empire.(3)
  4. Bald Eagles are large birds of prey native to North America. Since 1782, the Bald Eagle has been the United States' national emblem and mascot. Even though they are a symbol for freedom in the United States, these birds are known for harassing smaller birds and stealing their prey. Because of this behavior, Ben Franklin advocated that the Turkey be the national symbol instead of the Bald Eagle. (4)
  5. Of all America’s wildlife, eagles hold perhaps the most revered place in our national history and culture.   The United States has long imposed special protections for its Bald and Golden Eagle populations. Now, as the nation seeks to increase its production of domestic energy, wind energy developers and wildlife agencies have recognized a need for specific guidance to help make wind energy facilities compatible with eagle conservation and the laws and regulations that protect eagles.(5)
  6. Eagles have unusual eyes. They are very large in proportion to their heads and have extremely large pupils. Eagles’ eyes have a million light-sensitive cells per square mm of retina, five times more that a human’s 200,000. While humans see just three basic colors, eagles see five. (6)

Eagle Sources

  1. Source: Ferguson-Lees, J.; Christie, D. (2001). Raptors of the World. London: Christopher Helm. ISBN 0-7136-8026-1.
  2. Source: "Amazing Bird Records," Trails.com. Retrieved 20 July 2012.
  3. Source: Ralf Hartemink, Category: Eagles, Heraldry of the world, Accessed January 7, 2016.
  4. Source: Alina Brandford, Bald Eagles: Facts about American Mascot, Live Science, September 24, 2014. Accessed January 7, 2016.
  5. Source: Eagle Conservation Plan Guidance, US Fish and Wildlife Service, June 27, 2014. Accessed January 7, 2016.
  6. Source: Facts about Eagles, One Kind, Accessed January 7, 2016.