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Eagle

Eagle

Eagle

The eagle is one of the animals that humans strongly admire. It is sometimes called the king of the sky because of its strong and majestic appearance.It is sometimes used as a symbol by many countries and organizations and is truly a symbol of strength. Several types of eagles live in Japan and can be seen in various places. However, unlike sparrows and crows, they are not often seen in the city. Let’s take a look at the ecology and characteristics of eagles.

Eagle Basic Infomation

Aves-Accipitriformes-Accipitridae. ※The hawk family has many genera, among which there are white-tailed eagle genus and golden eagle genus.

There are many species of eagles and their size varies greatly. Here, we describe the body length and weight of three representative species.

Steller's sea eagle:length 85-100cm weight:male 4.9-6.0kg female 6.2-9.5kg.

Golden eagle:length 66-100cm weight:male 3.6-kg female 3.0-7.0kg.

Bald eagle:length 86-110cm weight:3.0-7.0kg.

Most eagles are large and carnivorous. They occupy a position close to the top of the food chain and have a very diverse diet. Some species prefer carrion while others hunt live prey. Prey often includes small animals and fish, but sometimes they also target other birds of prey or even goats larger than themselves.

They are found all over the world except for Antarctica and have a wide variety of habitats. Some species prefer mountain forests while others prefer grasslands.

One characteristic that is not often seen in other animals is that females are usually larger than males. This is said to be because females avoid unnecessary courtship from other males by nesting and incubating eggs.

For males, it is said that smaller ones have better maneuverability and are more advantageous for hunting, so they evolved to be smaller.

Eagles are also monogamous and spend their lives with a specific partner. In child-rearing, one of them always guards the nest and they do not cheat on other individuals. They are characterized by their strong bonds and humans may want to learn from them.

Eagle Q&A

Eagle
What is the difference between eagle, hawk and black kite?

The four species of birds of prey, including owls, eagles, hawks, and black kites, are well-known in general.However, some people may not know the difference between eagles, hawks, and black kites except for owls.

When you check the classification, all three species belong to the “accipitriformes of the accipitridae,” which means there is no biological difference. How are they distinguished? In most cases, it’s by size.

Basically, larger species are called eagles, medium-sized species are called hawks, and smaller species are called black kites.

However, there are many exceptions. For example, the crested serpent eagle is a smaller eagle than a hawk at about 55 cm in length. On the other hand, the mountain hawk-eagle is quite a large hawk with a body length of over 70 cm.

There are various theories as to why this happened, but in most cases, it seems to be influenced by the subjectivity of the person who discovered it or the land.

The crested serpent eagle became an eagle because it was the largest bird of prey in the area where it lived.

The distinction between birds of prey is somewhat ambiguous and interesting, as is the case with owls and horned owls.

Eagle
Do eagles live close to humans?

In daily life, we don’t see eagles very often. The most familiar bird of prey for Japanese people is the black kite.

It’s not that you can’t see eagles at all, but it’s quite difficult. If you go to a river or a mountain forest where there are fish that serve as food, you may be able to see them if you are conscious of it. It can be said that the living environment of humans and eagles is quite different.

Although they are not wild, they are also kept in zoos, so it’s a good idea to go to a zoo if you want to see them for sure.

Eagle
Do eagles have natural enemies?

Adult eagles are high-level predators in nature. They are at the top of the food chain, so they have no natural enemies. Of course, if they are weakened for some reason, they may be attacked by other animals.

However, the most difficult time is not when they are weak, but when they are chicks. If they are chicks, they may of course be killed by other animals.

And in many cases, they are killed by their older siblings rather than snakes or other birds of prey. There are various theories as to why they kill their siblings, such as to monopolize food, but it is surprising that they already know about the law of the jungle when they are chicks.

The reason why we don’t see many eagles at the top of the food chain may be because their survival rate is low and their numbers are small from the time they are chicks.

Eagle
How can an eagle find its prey from the sky?

Eagles hunt basically alone or in pairs. What is important in eagle hunting is their eyes and claws. First, the eagle looks for prey from above with its proud eyes.

The eagle’s eyesight is about 5.0 and can see four times the distance of humans. It also has high night vision and is said to be more powerful than night vision scopes.

It can also distinguish ultraviolet rays. After finding the prey, the eagle folds its wings and dives from above. Just before the prey, it spreads its wings and claws and captures the prey with a single blow of power. The eagle’s grip strength is so strong that it can crush a monkey’s skull.

Eagle
Can eagles be kept as pets?

When breeding unusual animals at home, it is necessary to follow the established laws in some countries. This time, we will introduce whether it is possible to breed eagles at home in Japan.

In conclusion, it used to be possible to keep certain animals as pets if you obtained permission from the local government. However, in June 2020, the law was revised and the keeping of "specified animals" was banned.

Specified animals are animals designated by the Ministry of the Environment and are basically “animals that may pose a risk of harm to humans.” This includes not only eagles but also crocodiles and tigers. In other words, they are on par with crocodiles and tigers in terms of “risk of harm.”

Although it is slightly different from pets, be careful not to approach them carelessly even when bird watching.

Eagle
How smart is an eagle?

In Japan, it is not possible to keep eagles as pets, but they can be kept in zoos and research facilities with permission.

In other countries, there is a culture of partnering with eagles. In Mongolia, eagle hunting using eagles continues today, and it seems that they are catching prey such as foxes and wild rabbits.

Another interesting attempt was made by the Dutch police. The Dutch police had been training police eagles instead of police dogs. The target was illegal drones.

Although drone technology is wonderful, it seems that they thought about cracking down on it if it was misused. Trained eagles can also avoid the drone’s propellers and capture them.

It was considered effective, but the introduction of police eagles was eventually postponed due to high costs and low deployment rates.

In Japan, it is not possible to keep eagles as pets, but they can be kept in zoos and research facilities with permission.

In other countries, there is a culture of partnering with eagles. In Mongolia, eagle hunting using eagles continues today, and it seems that they are catching prey such as foxes and wild rabbits.

Another interesting attempt was made by the Dutch police. The Dutch police had been training police eagles instead of police dogs. The target was illegal drones.

Although drone technology is wonderful, it seems that they thought about cracking down on it if it was misused. Trained eagles can also avoid the drone’s propellers and capture them.

It was considered effective, but the introduction of police eagles was eventually postponed due to high costs and low deployment rates.

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