The United States of America, the most powerful nation on Earth, uses the eagle as its symbol of power and majesty since the year 1782. Many other nations across the world use the eagle symbolically mostly in their coat of arms, examples of these nations: Coat of Arms of Germany, Ghana, Indonesia, Iraq, Mexico etc The Eagle has also been used symbolically in the past by great empires like the Persian Empire whose army was symbolized by an Eagle. Other empires were the Roman Empire, Byzantine Empire, Russian Empire, etc.
God too in His great wisdom also did use the Eagle many times symbolically to represent strength (Isaiah 40:31), swiftness (Habakkuk 1:8), messenger (Revelation 8:13) etc
Modern musicians also recognize the Eagle’s abilities e.g. Reggae musician Alaine in her wonderful Lyrics “Up” where she passes the clear yet powerful message that you should live a stress free life, “Just open your eyes, reach to the skies, soaring up higher, spread your wings and fly…”( I personally find a lot of inspiration from this fantastic song!) [Ask me for a link]
So what makes the Eagle such a unique bird worth of so much veneration not only to mankind but to God Himself? Read on.
LOYALTY AND FIDELITY
Believe it or not, Eagles pair with only one mate for life! An Eagle will hook up and remain faithful to one mate for life and should one mate die, the remaining Eagle will find another mate if lucky. That should be a great lesson to people!
A newly bonded pair will work on one nest several years before breeding. They will spend a great amount of time preparing the nest together, normally made of large sticks from outside and softer materials inside, before laying an egg or several eggs, not more than three. The nest is usually located on a very safe location, probably on a very high tree or rocky cliff, and considerably near to water and food resources. They will continue building the nest for years, as a matter of fact, nests weighing as much as 2 tons, 2.6 Meters across and 3.6 Meters high have been found! Eagles also build several nests which they alternate to live during their life time.
Eagles are so attached to their nesting locations such that simple disturbance for the nest may make the pair move away from it and go to build another one somewhere else.
Eagles normally lay 2 to 3 eggs which they take turn to incubate for a period of 35 days.
|American Bald Eagle.|
All Eagles are renowned for their excellent eyesight and awesome ability to spot a prey from very far, as high as 300 Meters from the ground. This is due to their extremely large eye pupils that allow very minimal diffraction (scattering) of the incoming light. Eagles have very powerful muscular legs, sharp and strong talons, and very large hooked beaks far much stronger than any other bird’s in existence. They also have very broad wings that allow for very swift and smooth flight when flying.
A female bald eagle, for example, may stand as much as 107 centimeters high, with a wingspan of up to 240 centimeters. Males stand up to 90 centimeters high, with wingspans of nearly 200 centimeters. Body weights of bald eagles range from 3.6 to 6.4 kilograms (8 to 14 pounds), with females generally about a kilogram heavier than males.
An eagle takes 4 to 5 years to reach maturity and find a mate and has a lifespan of about 30 years. Their lifting power when taking for the skies is 2 kg. Bald Eagles are also very good swimmers but should the water be very cold, they will easily succumb to hypothermia (dangerously low body temperature caused by prolonged exposure to cold).
Bald Eagles can fly at an altitude of up to 10,000 feet at a speed of 50 to 70 Km per hour. Eagles can fly up to 100 KM in a day. An eagle is free spirit, high soaring and courageous. Eagles can remain aloft in one position for a long time, just supported by the passing wind currents. Their wings are well designed aerodynamics.
Eagles are bird of prey and their major prey is arboreal (tree living species) or ground-dwelling mammals and birds, which are ambushed through an element of surprise. Occasionally an Eagle will target a larger prey than itself that they kill and eat on sight or take it back to its nest in peaces after tearing it up with its powerful beak. Eagles are also opportunistic birds and at times do snatch its food from other birds. Most Eagles grab prey without landing and take it back to its nest where it is torn apart. Eagles are noted to have carried the heaviest prey that weighed up to 6.8 Kg during flight! (Legends has it that it used to carry toddlers in Kikuyu land, am yet to know if that is true).
Martial Eagle is recorded to have killed a 37 Kg Duiker, and Crowned Eagles have killed preys as large as 30 Kg. Their hunting technique varies amongst the species.
Eagle’s diet is mainly fish but will prey on other animals too. They first keenly observe their prey before striking with such a lethal accuracy such that the prey can hardly escape.
When Eagles are young, the larger chick often kills the smaller chick(s), and surprisingly, the parents do nothing to stop this behavior. The dominant chick is normally a female as females are larger than males. Call it survival for the fittest!
Also the Eagle sits at the top of food chain and this means that it is the king of its food chain. Among Eagles are some the largest birds of prey, only the Condors and Old World Vultures are a bit larger. In recorded facts about the Eagle as Found in Wikipedia, the largest (Steller’s Sea Eagle) weighs 6.7 Kg, while the smallest specie (Martial Eagle) weighs 4.6 kg.
Thus the Eagle really deserves the recognition that it has in the modern world, ancient world and also in religion as noted in the Bible and other religions too. It is a symbol of faithfulness, diligence, strength, opportunism, power and dominance etc.
So next time you see an Eagle, give it its deserved honor as an awesome bird that has been venerated since time immemorial by many cultures and societies across the world. Do your part to conserve the environment and save this unique bird from extinction.
Also ask yourself, did this unique bird come into existence through a mere random natural selection or is it a product of Intelligent Design?
Have a good day.
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