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The Eagles Information

Eagles are large birds of prey mostly found in the Old World, with more than 60 species being found in Eurasia and Africa.

Eagles are differentiated from other birds of prey mainly by their larger size, more powerful build, and heavier head and bill. Most eagles are larger than any other raptors apart from the vultures.

Like all birds of prey, eagles have very large powerful hooked beaks for tearing flesh from their prey, strong legs, and powerful talons. They also have extremely keen eyesight to enable them to spot potential prey from a very long distance. This keen eyesight is primarily contributed by their extremely large pupils which cause minimal diffraction (scattering) of the incoming light.

Eagles build their nests, called eyries, in tall trees or on high cliffs. Many species lay two eggs, but the older, larger chick frequently kills its younger sibling once it has hatched.

Overall, scientists recognize four groups of eagles: The world’s 12 species of “serpent eagles” typically perch on trees and feed on snakes, frogs, and lizards. The six buzzard-like eagles are forest-dwelling giants, such as the Harpy and Philippine eagles, and prey on large mammals like deer.

The thirty “booted” eagles, so-called because feathers grow down the legs and cover the toes, include the widest-ranging eagle of them all: the Golden Eagle, which is found around the world and has learned to feast on an assortment of prey. In Greece, Golden Eagles even eat turtles, dropping them from great heights onto rocks to break open their armored shells. The eleven sea eagles, which include America’s beloved Bald Eagle, tend to specialize in eating fish and water birds — some even hunt flamingoes and poisonous sea snakes.

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