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The eagle is one of the biggest and most majestic of all birds. It is admired all over the world as a symbol of power, freedom, and transcendence. They are apex predators at the top of the food chain, thanks to their impressive hunting skills.
See the fact file below for more information on eagles or alternatively, you can download our 22-page Eagle worksheet pack to utilize within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
THE NEED TO KNOW
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata (Vertebrate)
- Class: Aves (Birds)
- Order: Accipitriformes (Carnivorous birds)
- Family: Accipitridae (hooked bills)
- The word eagle is used for a large group of birds of prey.
- Birds large enough to hunt vertebrates over 20 in (50 cm) are usually classified as birds of prey or predatory birds. They are also known as raptors.
- Eagles are powerfully built, with heavy heads and beaks.
- They belong to the family Accipitridae, and there are 60 different species of eagle.
- Forty-six of these species are from Africa and Eurasia.
- Of the remaining species, two are found in North America, three are found in Australia, and 9 in Central and South America.
- Eagles have:
- long, broad wings for direct, fast flight
- four strong curved talons (claws) on each foot for gripping prey
- strongly hooked beaks for tearing food
- extremely powerful eyes, with very large pupils for spotting prey while flying. Their eyesight is estimated to be 4 to 8 times stronger than that of a human, and they can detect prey more than a mile away.
- thousands of feathers, from fluffy down feathers for warmth to strong wing feathers for flight.
- The smallest species of eagle is the South Nicobar serpent eagle. It weighs about 1 lb (450 g) and is about 16 in (40 cm) in length.
- The largest eagles are:
- By weight, the Steller’s sea-eagle at about 14.75 lb (6.7 kg).
- By length, the Philippine eagle at about 39 in (100 cm).
- By wingspan, the white-tailed sea-eagle with a wingspan of nearly 86 in (220 cm).
- Eagles (birds of prey) are hypercarnivorous. This means that their diet consists of more than 70% meat.
- Depending on the species they actively hunt for and feed on, mammals, small birds, fish, and reptiles.
- Eagles have very keen eyesight and can detect prey during flight, so they can spot fish in water, snakes on the ground, and chicks in nests.
- They have strength and speed to approach prey swiftly.
- They also have strong feet with sharp talons for grasping prey.
- Their strong, curved beaks are designed for tearing the flesh off their prey.
- Eagles mostly hunt for live prey, but some species will scavenge for food.
- Most eagles grab prey without landing and take flight with it, so the prey can be carried to a perch and torn apart.
- Vultures and fish eagles will eat the decaying flesh of dead animals.
- Some species supplement their diet with fruit, while a few species feed mainly on fruit.
Reproduction & Young
- Female eagles are larger than males.
- Eagles normally build their nests in tall trees or on high cliffs.
- The correct name for an eagle’s nest is an eyrie.
- Some eagles reuse their nests instead of building a new one each year.
- Eagles are sexually mature at around four to five years old.
- Courtship displays take place in flight, but eagles do not mate in the air.
- Eagles do, however, mate for life.
- They also share the task of building their nests.
- Both will bring twigs and sticks to construct the nest.
- Nest building may begin up to 3 months prior to mating and is considered part of the breeding process.
- On average, female eagles lay 1-3 eggs at 3-4-day intervals, which hatch in the order they are laid.
- Both parents incubate the eggs until they hatch at about 35-45 days, depending on the species.
- A baby eagle is called an eaglet.
- Often, only one chick is allowed to survive, with the older, larger chick frequently killing its younger sibling once it has hatched.
- The parents take no action to stop the killing.
- Generally, eaglets fledge after 10-14 weeks.
- Once the juvenile eagle leaves the nest, the adult pair drives them away to find new territory.
- Eagles are found in all types of habitats, from tropical rainforests to deserts. They inhabit areas according to their diet.
- The booted eagle is named because it is the only species of eagle to have feathers on its legs. It is a medium-sized migratory bird found in southern Asia and wintering in the tropics of Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. This eagle is usually found in the countryside or mountains, where it flies at great height. Its preferred diet is reptiles, mice, and large insects.
- Fish eagles, also called sea eagles, eat mainly fish, fresh or dead. This large species of eagle is found throughout sub-Saharan Africa, where large bodies of open water provide an abundant supply of food. It is the national bird of Malawi, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
- Snake eagles are also called serpent eagles. As their name implies, they feed mainly on snakes and have adapted to hunt reptiles and snakes. They are found in West, East, and southern Africa.
- Harpy eagles are large eagles that inhabit tropical forests. They are found from southern Mexico through Central and South America and down to Argentina. They are also called “giant forest eagles” and feed mainly on tree-dwelling mammals like monkeys and sloths but also prey on reptiles and birds.
Did You Know
- The eagle is the patron animal of Zeus, the ancient Greek god.
- In the Anglican tradition, the eagle is symbolic of spreading the gospel. The lectern in churches is often in the shape of an eagle on whose outstretched wings the Bible rests.
- People of ancient Peru worshiped the eagle and often depicted eagles in their art.
- For hundreds of years, Native Americans have used eagle feathers for religious and cultural purposes, including marriage, healing, and naming ceremonies.
- In America, the possession of eagle feathers by non-Native Americans is prohibited.
- In most countries, it is illegal to keep eagles unless one is trained and certified as a master falconer.
This is a fantastic bundle that includes everything you need to know about eagles across 22 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Eagle worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the eagle which is one of the biggest and most majestic of all birds. It is admired all over the world as a symbol of power, freedom, and transcendence. They are apex predators, at the top of the food chain, thanks to their impressive hunting skills.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Eagle Facts
- He Ruleth
- Anatomy of a Predator
- Cycle of Life
- Sea Eagles
- Snake Eagles
- Rank the Raptors
- Eagles and Symbols
- Elite Portrayal
Frequently Asked Questions
How fast can an eagle fly?
Most species can fly as fast as a speeding car. The Golden Eagle can fly at nearly 200mph (320 km/h).
How long do eagles live?
The average lifespan of an eagle is 20 years. Some species live up to 30 years.
How much can an eagle carry?
Large eagles can easily carry +7 lbs (over 3 kg)
Can eagles see at night?
Yes, eagles can see in the dark. However, eagles mainly hunt in the day and are inactive at night.
Do eagles fly very high?
Eagles can easily soar at 10,000ft (over 3,000m). They use less energy when they are flying high, using long glides to conserve energy.
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Link will appear as Eagle Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, April 25, 2018
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.