Eagle is a common name for some members of the bird family Accipitridae; it belongs to several genera that are not necessarily closely related to each other. Eagles are large, powerfully built birds of prey, with a heavy head and beak.
There are 11 species – two species (the Bald Eagle and Golden Eagle) in the United States and Canada, nine species in Central America and South America, and three species in Australia. The smallest species called eagle is the South Nicobar Serpent Eagle, at 1 lb and 16 in.
- Like all birds of prey, eagles have very large hooked beaks for tearing flesh from their prey, strong muscular legs, and powerful talons.
- The type of prey varies from genus to genus.
- The snake and serpent eagles of the genera Circaetus, Terathopius and Spilornis predominantly prey on the great diversity of snakes that are found in the tropics of Africa and Asia.
- Authors on birds David Allen Sibley, Pete Dunne and Clay Sutton, described the behaviorial difference between hunting eagles and other birds of prey thus (in this case the Bald and Golden Eagles as compared to other North American raptors): They have at least one singular characteristic.
- Major new research into eagle taxonomy suggests that the important genera Aquila and Hieraaetus are not composed of nearest relatives, and it is likely that a reclassification of these genera will soon take place, with some species being moved to Lophaetus or Ictinaetus.
- Either the Greater Spotted Eagle and Lesser Spotted Eagle should move from Aquila to join the Long-crested Eagle in Lophaetus, or, perhaps better, all three of these species should move to Ictinaetus with the Black Eagle.
- Despite modern and historic Native American practices of giving eagle feathers to non-indigenous people and also members of other tribes who have been deemed worthy, current United States eagle feather law stipulates that only individuals of certifiable Native American ancestry enrolled in a federally recognized tribe are legally authorized to obtain eagle feathers for religious or spiritual reasons.
- In particular, Zeus was said to have taken the form of an eagle in order to abduct Ganymede, and there are numerous artistic depictions of the Eagle Zeus bearing Ganymede aloft, from Classical times up to the present. The Eagle is also the symbol of Libby, Montana which was recently named “The City of Eagles” Eagles have been used by many nations as a national symbol.
- The coat of arms of Albania has a black double-headed eagle.
- Furthermore the eagle gives Albania its name and Albanians call themselves shqipetar or shqipe meaning eagles.
- From this derives: The two-headed eagle is the emblem of “Shqipëria” or Land of the Eagles, which is known in English as Albania.
- After the abolition of Austria-Hungary, Austria took as its symbol a one-headed eagle in the modern coat of arms of Austria.