Eagle
Overview
 
Eagles are members of the bird
Bird
Birds are feathered, winged, bipedal, endothermic , egg-laying, vertebrate animals. Around 10,000 living species and 188 families makes them the most speciose class of tetrapod vertebrates. They inhabit ecosystems across the globe, from the Arctic to the Antarctic. Extant birds range in size from...

 family Accipitridae
Accipitridae
The Accipitridae, one of the two major families within the order Accipitriformes , are a family of small to large birds with strongly hooked bills and variable morphology based on diet. They feed on a range of prey items from insects to medium-sized mammals, with a number feeding on carrion and a...

, and belong to several genera
Genus
In biology, a genus is a low-level taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms, which is an example of definition by genus and differentia...

 which are not necessarily closely related to each other. Most of the more than 60 species occur in Eurasia and Africa. Outside this area, just two species (the Bald
Bald Eagle
The Bald Eagle is a bird of prey found in North America. It is the national bird and symbol of the United States of America. This sea eagle has two known sub-species and forms a species pair with the White-tailed Eagle...

 and Golden Eagle
Golden Eagle
The Golden Eagle is one of the best known birds of prey in the Northern Hemisphere. Like all eagles, it belongs to the family Accipitridae. Once widespread across the Holarctic, it has disappeared from many of the more heavily populated areas...

s) can be found in the United States and Canada, nine more in Central and South America, and three in Australia. Many different species of eagle are found in the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

.
Eagles differ from many other birds of prey mainly by their larger size, more powerful build, and heavier head and beak.
Encyclopedia
Eagles are members of the bird
Bird
Birds are feathered, winged, bipedal, endothermic , egg-laying, vertebrate animals. Around 10,000 living species and 188 families makes them the most speciose class of tetrapod vertebrates. They inhabit ecosystems across the globe, from the Arctic to the Antarctic. Extant birds range in size from...

 family Accipitridae
Accipitridae
The Accipitridae, one of the two major families within the order Accipitriformes , are a family of small to large birds with strongly hooked bills and variable morphology based on diet. They feed on a range of prey items from insects to medium-sized mammals, with a number feeding on carrion and a...

, and belong to several genera
Genus
In biology, a genus is a low-level taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms, which is an example of definition by genus and differentia...

 which are not necessarily closely related to each other. Most of the more than 60 species occur in Eurasia and Africa. Outside this area, just two species (the Bald
Bald Eagle
The Bald Eagle is a bird of prey found in North America. It is the national bird and symbol of the United States of America. This sea eagle has two known sub-species and forms a species pair with the White-tailed Eagle...

 and Golden Eagle
Golden Eagle
The Golden Eagle is one of the best known birds of prey in the Northern Hemisphere. Like all eagles, it belongs to the family Accipitridae. Once widespread across the Holarctic, it has disappeared from many of the more heavily populated areas...

s) can be found in the United States and Canada, nine more in Central and South America, and three in Australia. Many different species of eagle are found in the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

.

Description

Eagles differ from many other birds of prey mainly by their larger size, more powerful build, and heavier head and beak. Even the smallest eagles, like the Booted Eagle
Booted Eagle
The Booted Eagle is a medium-sized bird of prey. It is about in length and has a wingspan of . Like all eagles, it belongs to the family Accipitridae....

 (which is comparable in size to a Common Buzzard
Common Buzzard
The Common Buzzard is a medium to large bird of prey, whose range covers most of Europe and extends into Asia. It is usually resident all year, except in the coldest parts of its range, and in the case of one subspecies.-Description:...

 or Red-tailed Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
The Red-tailed Hawk is a bird of prey, one of three species colloquially known in the United States as the "chickenhawk," though it rarely preys on standard sized chickens. It breeds throughout most of North America, from western Alaska and northern Canada to as far south as Panama and the West...

), have relatively longer and more evenly broad wings, and more direct, faster flight. (Despite reduced size in aerodynamic feathers) Most eagles are larger than any other raptors apart from some vulture
Vulture
Vulture is the name given to two groups of convergently evolved scavenging birds, the New World Vultures including the well-known Californian and Andean Condors, and the Old World Vultures including the birds which are seen scavenging on carcasses of dead animals on African plains...

s. Species named as eagles range in size from the South Nicobar Serpent Eagle, at 500 g (1.1 lb) and 40 cm (16 in), to the 6.7 kg (14.7 lbs) Steller's Sea Eagle
Steller's Sea Eagle
The Steller's Sea Eagle, Haliaeetus pelagicus, is a large bird of prey in the family Accipitridae. It lives in coastal northeastern Asia and mainly preys on fish. It is, on average, the heaviest eagle in the world, at about , but often lags behind the Harpy Eagle and Philippine Eagle in other...

 and the 100 cm (39 in) Philippine Eagle
Philippine Eagle
The Philippine Eagle , also known as the Monkey-eating Eagle, is an eagle of the family Accipitridae that is endemic to forests in the Philippines. It has brown and white-coloured plumage, and a shaggy crest, and generally measures in length and weighs...

.
Like all birds of prey, eagles have very large hooked beak
Beak
The beak, bill or rostrum is an external anatomical structure of birds which is used for eating and for grooming, manipulating objects, killing prey, fighting, probing for food, courtship and feeding young...

s for tearing flesh from their prey, strong muscular legs, and powerful talons
Claw
A claw is a curved, pointed appendage, found at the end of a toe or finger in most mammals, birds, and some reptiles. However, the word "claw" is also often used in reference to an invertebrate. Somewhat similar fine hooked structures are found in arthropods such as beetles and spiders, at the end...

. The beak is typically heavier than most other birds of prey. They also have extremely keen eyesight which enables them to spot potential prey from a very long distance. This keen eyesight is primarily contributed by their extremely large pupils which ensure minimal diffraction
Diffraction
Diffraction refers to various phenomena which occur when a wave encounters an obstacle. Italian scientist Francesco Maria Grimaldi coined the word "diffraction" and was the first to record accurate observations of the phenomenon in 1665...

 (scattering) of the incoming light.

Eagles normally build their nests, called eyries
Bird nest
A bird nest is the spot in which a bird lays and incubates its eggs and raises its young. Although the term popularly refers to a specific structure made by the bird itself—such as the grassy cup nest of the American Robin or Eurasian Blackbird, or the elaborately woven hanging nest of the...

, 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. The dominant chick tends to be the female, as they are bigger than the male. The parents take no action to stop the killing.

Species

Major new research into eagle taxonomy
Taxonomy
Taxonomy is the science of identifying and naming species, and arranging them into a classification. The field of taxonomy, sometimes referred to as "biological taxonomy", revolves around the description and use of taxonomic units, known as taxa...

 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.
  • Bonelli's Eagle
    Bonelli's Eagle
    The Bonelli's Eagle is a large bird of prey. Like all eagles, it belongs to the family Accipitridae.It breeds in southern Europe, Africa both north and south of the Sahara Desert and across southern Asia to Indonesia...

    , and the Booted Eagle
    Booted Eagle
    The Booted Eagle is a medium-sized bird of prey. It is about in length and has a wingspan of . Like all eagles, it belongs to the family Accipitridae....

     have been moved from Hieraaetus to Aquila.
  • Either the Greater Spotted Eagle
    Greater Spotted Eagle
    The Greater Spotted Eagle , occasionally just called the spotted eagle, is a large bird of prey. Like all typical eagles, it belongs to the family Accipitridae...

     and Lesser Spotted Eagle
    Lesser Spotted Eagle
    The Lesser Spotted Eagle is a large Eastern European bird of prey. Like all typical eagles, it belongs to the family Accipitridae...

     should move from Aquila to join the Long-crested Eagle
    Long-crested Eagle
    The Long-crested Eagle is a bird of prey. Like all eagles, it is in the family Accipitridae. It is currently placed in a monotypic genus Lophaetus....

     in Lophaetus, or, perhaps better, all three of these species should move to Ictinaetus with the Black Eagle
    Black Eagle
    The Black Eagle is a bird of prey. Like all eagles, it is in the family Accipitridae, and is the only member of the genus Ictinaetus. They soar over forests in the hilly regions of tropical Asia and hunt mammals and birds, particularly at their nests...

    .
  • The Steppe Eagle
    Steppe Eagle
    The Steppe Eagle is a bird of prey. It is about in length and has a wingspan of . Females, weighing 2.3–4.9 kg , are slightly larger than males, at 2–3.5 kg . Like all eagles, it belongs to the family Accipitridae...

     and Tawny Eagle
    Tawny Eagle
    The Tawny Eagle is a large bird of prey. Like all eagles, it belongs to the family Accipitridae. It was once considered to be closely related to the migratory Steppe Eagle, Aquila nipalensis, and the two forms have previously been treated as conspecific...

    , once thought to be conspecific
    Conspecificity
    Conspecificity is a concept in biology. Two or more individual organisms, populations, or taxa are conspecific if they belong to the same species....

    , are not even each other's nearest relatives.

FAMILY ACCIPITRIDAE
  • Subfamily Buteoninae
    Buteoninae
    Buteoninae is a bird of prey subfamily which consists of medium to large broad-winged species.They have large powerful hooked beaks for tearing flesh from their prey, strong legs and powerful talons...

    - hawks (buzzards), true eagles and seaeagles
    • Genus Geranoaetus
      • Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle
        Black-chested Buzzard-eagle
        The Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle is a bird of prey of the hawk and eagle family . It lives in open regions of South America. This species is also known as the Black Buzzard-eagle, Grey Buzzard-eagle or analogously with "eagle" or "eagle-buzzard" replacing "buzzard-eagle", or as the Chilean Blue Eagle...

        , Geranoaetus melanoleucus
    • Genus Harpyhaliaetus
      Harpyhaliaetus
      Harpyhaliaetus is a genus of eagles. Recent studies have shown that the Solitary Eagle is closely related to the black-hawks, in particular the Savanna Hawk which is smaller and browner but otherwise very similar to "Harpyhaliaetus"...

      • Crowned Solitary Eagle
        Crowned Solitary Eagle
        The Crowned Solitary Eagle , typically known simply as the Crowned Eagle is an endangered bird of prey from eastern and central South America...

        , Harpyhaliaetus coronatus
      • Montane Solitary Eagle, H. solitarius
    • Genus Morphnus
      • Crested Eagle
        Crested Eagle
        The Crested Eagle is a large Neotropical eagle. It is the only member of the genus Morphnus. It is 71–89 cm long and has a wingspan of 138–176 cm...

        , Morphnus guianensis
    • Genus Harpia
      • Harpy Eagle, Harpia harpyja
    • Genus Pithecophaga
      • Philippine Eagle
        Philippine Eagle
        The Philippine Eagle , also known as the Monkey-eating Eagle, is an eagle of the family Accipitridae that is endemic to forests in the Philippines. It has brown and white-coloured plumage, and a shaggy crest, and generally measures in length and weighs...

        , Pithecophaga jefferyi
    • Genus Harpyopsis
      • Papuan Eagle, Harpyopsis novaeguineae
    • Genus Oroaetus
      • Black-and-chestnut Eagle
        Black-and-chestnut Eagle
        The Black-and-chestnut Eagle is a South American species of bird of prey in the Accipitridae family. It is sometimes called Isidor's Eagle. It is often placed in the monotypic genus Oroaetus....

        , Oroaetus isidori
    • Genus Spizaetus
      Spizaetus
      Spizaetus is the typical hawk-eagle birds of prey genus found in the tropics of the Americas. It was however used to indicate a group of tropical eagles that included species occurring in southern and southeastern Asia and one representative of this genus in the rainforests of West Africa. The Old...

      • Cassin's Hawk-Eagle
        Cassin's Hawk-eagle
        The Cassin's Hawk-eagle is a bird of prey in the Accipitridae family. It is found in western, central and eastern Africa. They prefer dense, humid forests....

        , Spizaetus africanus
      • Crested Hawk-Eagle, S. cirrhatus
      • Mountain Hawk-Eagle, S. nipalensis
      • Blyth's Hawk-Eagle
        Blyth's Hawk-eagle
        The Blyth's Hawk-Eagle, Nisaetus alboniger is a bird of prey. Like all eagles, it is in the family Accipitridae....

        , S. alboniger
      • Javan Hawk-Eagle
        Javan Hawk-eagle
        The Javan Hawk-Eagle, Nisaetus bartelsi is a medium-sized, approximately 61 cm long, dark brown raptor in the family Accipitridae. Its head and neck are rufous and it is heavily barred black below. It has a long black crest with a white tip. The sexes are similar...

        , S. bartelsi
      • Sulawesi Hawk-Eagle
        Sulawesi Hawk-eagle
        The Sulawesi Hawk-Eagle, Nisaetus lanceolatus , also known as Celebes Hawk-eagle, is a medium-sized, approximately 64 cm long, crestless brown raptor in the family Accipitridae. The adults have rufous-brown, boldly marked head and chest feathers, dark brown wings and black-barred white below...

        , S. lanceolatus
      • Philippine Hawk-Eagle
        Philippine Hawk-eagle
        The Philippine Hawk-Eagle, known in French as aigle des Philippines and in Spanish as aguila-azor Filipina is a species of bird of prey in the Accipitridae family...

        , S. philippensis
      • Wallace's Hawk-Eagle
        Wallace's Hawk-eagle
        The Wallace's Hawk-Eagle, Aigle De Wallace, or Aguila-azor De Wallace is a species of bird of prey in the Accipitridae family....

        , S. nanus
      • Black Hawk-Eagle
        Black Hawk-Eagle
        The Black Hawk-Eagle , also known as theTyrant Hawk-Eagle, is a species of eagle found from central Mexico to eastern Peru, the south of Brazil, and far northern Argentina. Its preferred habitats include humid and moist forests close to rivers, and several types of woodland. It is uncommon to...

        , S. tyrannus
      • Ornate Hawk-Eagle, S. ornatus
      • Black-and-white Hawk-Eagle
        Black-and-white Hawk-eagle
        The Black-and-white Hawk-Eagle is a bird of prey species in the eagle and hawk family...

        , S. melanoleucus
    • Genus Lophaetus
      • Long-crested Eagle
        Long-crested Eagle
        The Long-crested Eagle is a bird of prey. Like all eagles, it is in the family Accipitridae. It is currently placed in a monotypic genus Lophaetus....

        , Lophaetus occipitalis - possibly belongs in Ictinaetus
    • Genus Stephanoaetus
      • Crowned Eagle
        Crowned Eagle
        The Crowned Eagle or Crowned Hawk-eagle , is a very large, powerful, crested bird of prey found in sub-Saharan Africa; in Southern Africa it is restricted to suitable habitat in the eastern areas. It is the only extant member of the genus Stephanoaetus...

        , Stephanoaetus coronatus
    • Genus Polemaetus
      • Martial Eagle
        Martial Eagle
        The Martial Eagle , is a very large eagle found in open and semi-open habitats of sub-Saharan Africa. It is the only member of the genus Polemaetus.-Description:...

        , Polemaetus bellicosus
    • Genus Hieraaetus
      Hieraaetus
      The genus Hieraaetus, sometimes known as hawk-eagles, denoted a group of smallish eagles usually placed in the Buteoninae subfamily of accipitrids....

      • Ayres' Hawk-eagle, Hieraaetus ayresii
      • African Hawk-Eagle, H. spilogaster
      • Little Eagle
        Little Eagle
        The Little Eagle is a very small eagle native to Australasia, measuring 45–55 cm in length and weighing 815 g – roughly the size of a Peregrine Falcon. It tends to inhabit open woodland, grassland and arid regions, shunning dense forest...

        , H. morphnoides
        • Pygmy Eagle, H. m. weiskei
    • Genus Harpagornis (extinct
      Extinction
      In biology and ecology, extinction is the end of an organism or of a group of organisms , normally a species. The moment of extinction is generally considered to be the death of the last individual of the species, although the capacity to breed and recover may have been lost before this point...

      )
      • Haast's Eagle
        Haast's Eagle
        Haast's Eagle was a species of massive eagles that once lived on the South Island of New Zealand. The species was the largest eagle known to have existed. Its prey consisted mainly of gigantic flightless birds that were unable to defend themselves from the striking force and speed of these eagles,...

        , †Harpagornis moorei - possibly belongs in either Hieraaetus or Aquila
    • Genus Lophotriorchis
      • Rufous-bellied Hawk-Eagle, L. kienerii

    • Genus Aquila
      Aquila (genus)
      Aquila is the genus of true eagles. It is often united with the buteos, sea eagles and other more heavyset Accipitridae, but more recently it appears as if they are less distinct from the more slender accipitrine hawks than believed...

      • Bonelli's Eagle
        Bonelli's Eagle
        The Bonelli's Eagle is a large bird of prey. Like all eagles, it belongs to the family Accipitridae.It breeds in southern Europe, Africa both north and south of the Sahara Desert and across southern Asia to Indonesia...

        , Aquila fasciata - formerly Hieraaetus fasciatus
      • Booted Eagle
        Booted Eagle
        The Booted Eagle is a medium-sized bird of prey. It is about in length and has a wingspan of . Like all eagles, it belongs to the family Accipitridae....

        , A. pennata - formerly Hieraaetus pennatus
      • Golden Eagle
        Golden Eagle
        The Golden Eagle is one of the best known birds of prey in the Northern Hemisphere. Like all eagles, it belongs to the family Accipitridae. Once widespread across the Holarctic, it has disappeared from many of the more heavily populated areas...

        , A. chrysaetos
      • Eastern Imperial Eagle
        Eastern Imperial Eagle
        The Eastern Imperial Eagle is a large species of bird of prey that breeds from southeastern Europe to central Asia. Most populations are migratory and winter in northeastern Africa, and southern and eastern Asia. The Spanish Imperial Eagle, found in Spain and Portugal, was formerly lumped with...

        , A. heliaca
      • Spanish Imperial Eagle
        Spanish Imperial Eagle
        The Spanish Imperial Eagle, Iberian Imperial Eagle or Adalbert's Eagle is a threatened species of eagle that only occurs in central and south-west Spain, adjacent areas of Portugal and possibly northern Morocco, although the latter is disputed...

         A. adalberti
      • Steppe Eagle
        Steppe Eagle
        The Steppe Eagle is a bird of prey. It is about in length and has a wingspan of . Females, weighing 2.3–4.9 kg , are slightly larger than males, at 2–3.5 kg . Like all eagles, it belongs to the family Accipitridae...

        , A. nipalensis
      • Tawny Eagle
        Tawny Eagle
        The Tawny Eagle is a large bird of prey. Like all eagles, it belongs to the family Accipitridae. It was once considered to be closely related to the migratory Steppe Eagle, Aquila nipalensis, and the two forms have previously been treated as conspecific...

        , A. rapax
      • Greater Spotted Eagle
        Greater Spotted Eagle
        The Greater Spotted Eagle , occasionally just called the spotted eagle, is a large bird of prey. Like all typical eagles, it belongs to the family Accipitridae...

        , A. clanga - to be moved to Lophaetus or Ictinaetus
      • Lesser Spotted Eagle
        Lesser Spotted Eagle
        The Lesser Spotted Eagle is a large Eastern European bird of prey. Like all typical eagles, it belongs to the family Accipitridae...

        , A. pomarina - to be moved to Lophaetus or Ictinaetus
      • Indian Spotted Eagle
        Indian Spotted Eagle
        The Indian Spotted Eagle is a large South Asian bird of prey. Like all typical eagles, it belongs to the family Accipitridae...

        , A. hastata - to be moved to Lophaetus or Ictinaetus
      • Verreaux's Eagle
        Verreaux's Eagle
        Verreaux's Eagle , alternatively known as the Black Eagle , is a large bird of prey. This eagle lives in hilly and mountaineous regions of southern and eastern Africa , and very locally in Western Asia.- Description :It is long. Males weigh and females weigh...

        , A. verreauxii
      • Gurney's Eagle
        Gurney's Eagle
        Gurney's Eagle, Aquila gurneyi, is a large eagle in the family Accipitridae. It is found on New Guinea and adjacent smaller islands.-Description:...

        , A. gurneyi
      • Wahlberg's Eagle
        Wahlberg's Eagle
        The Wahlberg's Eagle is a bird of prey. It is about 55–60 cm in length and has a wingspan of 130–160 cm. Body mass is 1.04 kg for males and 1.3 kg for females on average. Like all eagles, it belongs to the family Accipitridae.Wahlberg's Eagle breeds in most of Africa south of...

        , A. wahlbergi
      • Wedge-tailed Eagle
        Wedge-tailed Eagle
        The Wedge-tailed Eagle , sometimes known as the Eaglehawk in its native range, is the largest bird of prey in Australia, but it is also found in southern New Guinea. It has long, fairly broad wings, fully feathered legs, and an unmistakable wedge-shaped tail...

        , A. audax
    • Genus Ictinaetus
      • Black Eagle
        Black Eagle
        The Black Eagle is a bird of prey. Like all eagles, it is in the family Accipitridae, and is the only member of the genus Ictinaetus. They soar over forests in the hilly regions of tropical Asia and hunt mammals and birds, particularly at their nests...

        , Ictinaetus malayensis
    • Genus Haliaeetus
      • White-tailed Eagle
        White-tailed Eagle
        The White-tailed Eagle , also known as the Sea Eagle, Erne , or White-tailed Sea-eagle, is a large bird of prey in the family Accipitridae which includes other raptors such as hawks, kites, and harriers...

        , Haliaeetus albicilla
      • Bald Eagle
        Bald Eagle
        The Bald Eagle is a bird of prey found in North America. It is the national bird and symbol of the United States of America. This sea eagle has two known sub-species and forms a species pair with the White-tailed Eagle...

        , H. leucocephalus
      • Steller's Sea Eagle
        Steller's Sea Eagle
        The Steller's Sea Eagle, Haliaeetus pelagicus, is a large bird of prey in the family Accipitridae. It lives in coastal northeastern Asia and mainly preys on fish. It is, on average, the heaviest eagle in the world, at about , but often lags behind the Harpy Eagle and Philippine Eagle in other...

        , H. pelagicus
      • African Fish Eagle
        African Fish Eagle
        The African Fish Eagle or – to distinguish it from the true fish eagles , the African Sea Eagle – is a large species of eagle that is found throughout sub-Saharan Africa wherever large bodies of open water occur that have an abundant food supply. As a result of its large range, it is known in many...

        , H. vocifer
      • White-bellied Sea Eagle
        White-bellied Sea Eagle
        The White-bellied Sea Eagle , also known as the White-breasted Sea Eagle, is a large diurnal bird of prey in the family Accipitridae. Originally described by Johann Friedrich Gmelin in 1788, it is closely related to Sanford's Sea Eagle of the Solomon Islands, and the two are considered a superspecies...

        , H. leucogaster
      • Sanford's Sea Eagle, H. sanfordi
      • Madagascar Fish Eagle
        Madagascar Fish Eagle
        The Madagascar Fish Eagle or Madagascar Sea-eagle is a large bird of prey in the family Accipitridae which also includes many other diurnal raptors such as kites, buzzards and harriers. The range of this eagle is within the Madagascar dry deciduous forests...

        , H. vociferoides
      • Pallas' Sea Eagle, H. leucoryphus
    • Genus Ichthyophaga
      Ichthyophaga
      Ichthyophaga is a genus of two species of eagles, closely related to the sea-eagles in the genus Haliaeetus. Both are native to southeastern Asia, from the Indian subcontinent southeast to Sulawesi. They are smaller than the Haliaeetus eagles, though overlapping in size with the smaller species of...

      • Lesser Fish Eagle
        Lesser Fish Eagle
        The Lesser Fish Eagle is a species of large fish eagle found in the Indian Subcontinent, primarily in the foothills of the Himalayas. There have been some stray reports from Gujarat and Central India and in more recent times from the Kaveri river valley in southern India. The distribution in...

        , Ichthyophaga humilis
      • Grey-headed Fish Eagle
        Grey-headed Fish Eagle
        The Grey-headed Fish Eagle is a bird of prey. Like all eagles, it is in the family Accipitridae.Grey-headed Fish Eagle breeds in southern Asia from India and Sri Lanka to Southeast asia...

        , I. ichthyaetus

  • Subfamily Circaetinae
    Circaetinae
    Circaetinae is a bird of prey subfamily which consists of a group of medium to large broad-winged species. These are mainly birds which specialise in feeding on snakes and other reptiles, which is the reason most are named as "snake-eagles" or "serpent-eagles". The only exception is the Bateleur,...

    : snake-eagles
    • Genus Terathopius
      • Bateleur
        Bateleur
        The Bateleur is a medium-sized eagle in the bird family Accipitridae which also includes many other diurnal raptors such as buzzards, kites and harriers...

        , Terathopius ecaudatus
    • Genus Circaetus
      Circaetus
      Circaetus, the snake eagles, is a genus of medium-sized eagles in the bird of prey family Accipitridae which also includes many other diurnal raptors such as buzzards and harriers....

      • Short-toed Snake Eagle, Circaetus gallicus
      • Black-chested Snake Eagle, C. pectoralis
      • Brown Snake Eagle, C. cinereus
      • Fasciated Snake Eagle, C. fasciolatus
      • Western Banded Snake Eagle, C. cinerascens
    • Genus Spilornis
      Spilornis
      Spilornis is a genus of bird of prey in the family Accipitridae. As adults all have dark crowns, and bright yellow eyes and cere. These medium-sized raptors are found in forests of southern Asia and are known as serpent-eagles; an English name shared with two African species from the genera...

      • Crested Serpent Eagle
        Crested Serpent Eagle
        The Crested Serpent Eagle is a medium-sized bird of prey that is found in forested habitats across tropical Asia. Within its widespread range, there are considerable variations and some authorities prefer to treat several of its subspecies as completely separate species. In the past, several...

        , Spilornis cheela
        • Central Nicobar Serpent Eagle, S. minimus (subspecies or species)
      • Great Nicobar Serpent Eagle, S. klossi
      • Mountain Serpent Eagle
        Mountain Serpent Eagle
        The Mountain Serpent Eagle , also known as the Kinabalu Serpent Eagle, is a bird of prey that is found in northern Borneo. It is found at altitudes of in forest, especially where it becomes stunted. Where their range overlaps, the Crested Serpent Eagle generally occurs at lower altitudes...

        , S. kinabaluensis
      • Sulawesi Serpent Eagle, S. rufipectus
      • Philippine Serpent Eagle, S. holospilus
      • Andaman Serpent Eagle, S. elgini
    • Genus Eutriorchis
      • Madagascar Serpent Eagle, Eutriorchis astur

The word

The modern English name of the bird is derived from the Latin term aquila by way of the French aigle. The Latin aquila may derive from the word aquilus, meaning dark-colored, swarthy, or blackish, as a description of the eagle's plumage; or from aquilo, the Latin version of Greek boreas, or north wind; however, aquilus and aquilo may just as well derive from aquila (or be unrelated) and the latter be of unknown origin.

Old English used the term earn, related to Scandinavia's ørn / örn. The etymology of this word relates it to Greek ornís, meaning "bird", though other Indo-European languages (such as Welsh eryr or Russian orël / орёл) show that the meaning 'eagle' is older. The Greek word may be an old diminutive
Diminutive
In language structure, a diminutive, or diminutive form , is a formation of a word used to convey a slight degree of the root meaning, smallness of the object or quality named, encapsulation, intimacy, or endearment...

. The Albanian word for eagle is "shqiponje" deriving from the root "shqipe", which means "eagle".

In Britain before 1678, eagle referred specifically to the Golden Eagle
Golden Eagle
The Golden Eagle is one of the best known birds of prey in the Northern Hemisphere. Like all eagles, it belongs to the family Accipitridae. Once widespread across the Holarctic, it has disappeared from many of the more heavily populated areas...

, with the other native species, the White-tailed Eagle
White-tailed Eagle
The White-tailed Eagle , also known as the Sea Eagle, Erne , or White-tailed Sea-eagle, is a large bird of prey in the family Accipitridae which includes other raptors such as hawks, kites, and harriers...

, being known as the Erne. The modern name "Golden Eagle" for aquila chrysaetos was introduced by the naturalist John Ray
John Ray
John Ray was an English naturalist, sometimes referred to as the father of English natural history. Until 1670, he wrote his name as John Wray. From then on, he used 'Ray', after "having ascertained that such had been the practice of his family before him".He published important works on botany,...

.

Eagles as national symbols

Eagles have been used by many nations as a national symbol.
  • The coat of arms of the Seljukian Empire
    Great Seljuq Empire
    The Great Seljuq Empire was a medieval Persianate, Turko-Persian Sunni Muslim empire, originating from the Qynyq branch of Oghuz Turks. The Seljuq Empire controlled a vast area stretching from the Hindu Kush to eastern Anatolia and from Central Asia to the Persian Gulf...

     has a double-headed eagle
    Double-headed eagle
    The double-headed eagle is a common symbol in heraldry and vexillology. It is most commonly associated with the Byzantine Empire and the Holy Roman Empire. In Byzantine heraldry, the heads represent the dual sovereignty of the Emperor and/or dominance of the Byzantine Emperors over both East and...

  • The coat of arms of Albania has a black double-headed eagle
    Double-headed eagle
    The double-headed eagle is a common symbol in heraldry and vexillology. It is most commonly associated with the Byzantine Empire and the Holy Roman Empire. In Byzantine heraldry, the heads represent the dual sovereignty of the Emperor and/or dominance of the Byzantine Emperors over both East and...

    . Furthermore the eagle gives Albania its name ( in Albanian
    Albanian language
    Albanian is an Indo-European language spoken by approximately 7.6 million people, primarily in Albania and Kosovo but also in other areas of the Balkans in which there is an Albanian population, including western Macedonia, southern Montenegro, southern Serbia and northwestern Greece...

     Shqiperia meaning Land of the eagles) and Albanians
    Albanians
    Albanians are a nation and ethnic group native to Albania and neighbouring countries. They speak the Albanian language. More than half of all Albanians live in Albania and Kosovo...

     call themselves shqipetar or shqipe meaning eagles.
  • The coat of arms of Armenia
    Coat of arms of Armenia
    The national coat of arms of Armenia consists of an eagle and a lion supporting a shield. The coat of arms combines new and old symbols...

     has a gold eagle and lion.
  • The coat of arms of Austria
    Coat of arms of Austria
    The current coat of arms of Austria, albeit without the broken chains, has been in use by the Republic of Austria since 1919. Between 1934 and the German annexation in 1938 Austria used a different coat of arms, which consisted of a double-headed eagle...

     has a black eagle.
  • The coat of arms of the Czech Republic
    Coat of arms of the Czech Republic
    The coat of arms of the Czech Republic displays the three historical regions—the Czech lands—which make up the nation:The arms of Bohemia show a silver double-tailed lion on a red background1. The Bohemian Lion is repeated in the lower-left-hand side of the coat of arms...

     integrates the symbols of Moravia
    Moravia
    Moravia is a historical region in Central Europe in the east of the Czech Republic, and one of the former Czech lands, together with Bohemia and Silesia. It takes its name from the Morava River which rises in the northwest of the region...

     and Silesia
    Silesia
    Silesia is a historical region of Central Europe located mostly in Poland, with smaller parts also in the Czech Republic, and Germany.Silesia is rich in mineral and natural resources, and includes several important industrial areas. Silesia's largest city and historical capital is Wrocław...

     (both with female eagles in their emblems - red-and-white chequered and black respectively) on the coat of arms of the Czech Republic
    Coat of arms of the Czech Republic
    The coat of arms of the Czech Republic displays the three historical regions—the Czech lands—which make up the nation:The arms of Bohemia show a silver double-tailed lion on a red background1. The Bohemian Lion is repeated in the lower-left-hand side of the coat of arms...

     with Bohemia
    Bohemia
    Bohemia is a historical region in central Europe, occupying the western two-thirds of the traditional Czech Lands. It is located in the contemporary Czech Republic with its capital in Prague...

    's lion.
  • The coat of arms of Egypt
    Coat of arms of Egypt
    The coat of arms of Egypt is a golden eagle looking towards the viewer's left .-Appearance:The "Eagle of Saladin" holds a scroll on which the name of the state appears in Arabic script, Gumhūriyyat Miṣr al-ʿArabiyyah . The eagle carries on its breast a shield with the flag's colors — but...

     is a golden eagle looking towards the viewer's left. It is taking from the golden Eagle of Saladin founded on Saladin Citadel of Cairo.
  • The coat of arms of Germany
    Coat of arms of Germany
    The coat of arms of Germany displays a black eagle on a yellow shield ....

     has a black eagle.
  • The coat of arms of Ghana
    Coat of arms of Ghana
    The coat of arms of Ghana, designed by Amon Kotei, was introduced on 4 March 1957 by Elizabeth II. It shows a blue shield, which is divided into four parts by a St George's Cross with a golden edge. In the middle of the cross there is the golden lion of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and...

     has two golden eagles holding it.
  • The coat of arms of Iceland
    Coat of arms of Iceland
    The coat of arms of Iceland is a cross of silver on a sky-blue shield, with a fire-red cross inside the silver cross . The shieldbearers are the four protectors of Iceland standing on a pahoehoe lava block...

     has an eagle holding it, as well as a dragon, a bull and a giant.
  • The coat of arms of Indonesia
    Coat of arms of Indonesia
    The National Emblem of Indonesia is called Garuda Pancasila. The main part of Indonesian national emblem is the Garuda with a heraldic shield on its chest and a scroll gripped by its leg. The shield's five emblems represent Pancasila, the five principles of Indonesia's national philosophy...

     has an eagle-like garuda
    Garuda
    The Garuda is a large mythical bird or bird-like creature that appears in both Hindu and Buddhist mythology.From an Indian perspective, Garuda is the Hindu name for the constellation Aquila and...

     carrying a shield on its neck and a banner on its feet.
  • The coat of arms of Iraq
    Coat of arms of Iraq
    The coat of arms or state emblem of Iraq is a golden black eagle looking towards the viewer's left dexter. The eagle is the Eagle of Saladin associated with 20th-century pan-Arabism, bearing a shield of the Iraqi flag, and holding a scroll below with the Arabic words الجمهورية العراقية .- History...

     has the golden Eagle of Saladin
    Saladin
    Ṣalāḥ ad-Dīn Yūsuf ibn Ayyūb , better known in the Western world as Saladin, was an Arabized Kurdish Muslim, who became the first Sultan of Egypt and Syria, and founded the Ayyubid dynasty. He led Muslim and Arab opposition to the Franks and other European Crusaders in the Levant...

  • The coat of arms of Mexico
    Coat of arms of Mexico
    The current coat of arms of Mexico has been an important symbol of Mexican politics and culture for centuries. The coat of arms depicts a Mexican Golden Eagle perched upon a prickly pear cactus devouring a snake. To the people of Tenochtitlan this would have strong religious connotations, but to...

     has a golden eagle perched upon a cactus devouring a snake.
  • The coat of arms of Moldova
    Coat of arms of Moldova
    The coat of arms of Moldova consists of a stylized eagle holding a cross in its beak and a sceptre and an olive branch in its claws. According to the author of the coat of arms, the eagle symbolizes the Latin origin of the people....

     consists of a stylized eagle holding a cross in its beak and a sceptre and a branch in its claws.
  • The coat of arms of Montenegro
    Coat of arms of Montenegro
    The coat of arms of Montenegro was officially adopted by the law passed in the Parliament on 13 July 2004...

     represents the two-headed eagle in flight.
  • The coat of arms of Navarre/Basque Country Kingdom
    Navarre
    Navarre , officially the Chartered Community of Navarre is an autonomous community in northern Spain, bordering the Basque Country, La Rioja, and Aragon in Spain and Aquitaine in France...

     has a black eagle.
  • The coat of arms of Nigeria
    Coat of arms of Nigeria
    The coat of arms of Nigeria has a black shield with two white stripes that come together, like the letter Y. These represent the two main rivers flowing through Nigeria: the Benue River and the Niger River. The black shield represents Nigeria's good earth while the two horses on each side...

     has a red eagle on top.
  • The coat of arms of Panama
    Coat of arms of Panama
    The Panamanian coat of arms is a heraldic symbol for the Central American nation of Panama. These arms were adopted provisionally and then definitively by the same laws that adopted the Panamanian flag.-Description:...

     has a harpy eagle
  • The coat of arms of the Philippines
    Coat of arms of the Philippines
    The Coat of Arms of the Philippines features the eight-rayed sun of the Philippines with each ray representing the eight provinces which were placed under martial law by Governor-General Ramón Blanco during the Philippine Revolution, and the three five-pointed stars representing the three primary...

     has the bald eagle of the United States as a symbol of its colonial past, but the Monkey-eating Eagle is the de jure National Bird of the country.
  • The coat of arms of Poland
    Coat of arms of Poland
    The White Eagle is the national coat of arms of Poland. It is a stylized white eagle with a golden beak and talons, and wearing a golden crown, in a red shield.- Legal basis :...

     has a white eagle with a golden beak and talons wearing a golden crown.
  • The coat of arms of Romania
    Coat of arms of Romania
    The coat of arms of Romania was adopted in the Romanian Parliament on 10 September 1992 as a representative coat of arms for Romania. It is based on the Lesser Coat of Arms of the Kingdom of Romania , redesigned by Victor Dima. As a central element it shows a golden aquila holding a cross in its...

     has a golden aquila
    Aquila (genus)
    Aquila is the genus of true eagles. It is often united with the buteos, sea eagles and other more heavyset Accipitridae, but more recently it appears as if they are less distinct from the more slender accipitrine hawks than believed...

     holding a cross in its beak and a mace and a sword in its claws.
  • The coat of arms of Russia
    Coat of arms of Russia
    The coat of arms of Russia have gone through three major periods in their history, undergoing major changes in the transitions between the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union, and the Russian Federation. They date back to 1472, when Ivan III began using the double-headed eagle in his seal, which,...

     has a gold double-headed eagle
    Double-headed eagle
    The double-headed eagle is a common symbol in heraldry and vexillology. It is most commonly associated with the Byzantine Empire and the Holy Roman Empire. In Byzantine heraldry, the heads represent the dual sovereignty of the Emperor and/or dominance of the Byzantine Emperors over both East and...

    .
  • The coat of arms of Serbia
    Coat of arms of Serbia
    The coat of arms of Serbia is based the family arms of the former Obrenović dynasty and features the white bicephalic eagle of the Nemanjić dynasty. An ermine cape of the style once worn by kings is featured in the background. The double-headed eagle has been used since Byzantine era, the Serbian...

     has a white bicephalic eagle of the House of Nemanjić
    House of Nemanjic
    The Nemanjić was the most important dynasty of Serbia in the Middle Ages, and one of the most important in Southeastern Europe. The royal house produced eleven Serbian monarchs between 1166 and 1371. It's progenitor was Stephen Nemanja, who descended from a cadet line of the Vukanović dynasty...

    .
  • The coat of arms of Syria
    Coat of arms of Syria
    The national symbol or coat of arms of Syria includes the Hawk of Qureish, which holds a shield of the national flag , and a scroll with the words "Syrian Arab Republic" ....

     formerly had the eagle of Saladin.
  • The Great Seal of the United States
    Great Seal of the United States
    The Great Seal of the United States is used to authenticate certain documents issued by the United States federal government. The phrase is used both for the physical seal itself , and more generally for the design impressed upon it...

     has a bald eagle.
  • The coat of arms of Yemen
    Coat of arms of Yemen
    The national emblem of Yemen depicts a golden eagle with a scroll between its claws. On the scroll is written the name of the country in Arabic: الجمهورية اليمنية or Al-Jumhuriyyah Al-Yamaniyah . The chest of the eagle contains a shield that depicts a coffee plant and the Marib Dam, that are...

     depicts a golden eagle with a scroll between its claws.
  • The coat of arms of Zambia
    Coat of arms of Zambia
    The coat of arms of Zambia was adopted on 24 October 1964 when the Republic of Zambia reached its independence. This coat of arms is adapted from the arms of the Colony of Northern Rhodesia which dates to 1927. The eagle of liberty African Fish Eagle represents the conquest of freedom and nation's...

     has a orange red eagle on top
  • The coat of arms of Ghana
    Coat of arms of Ghana
    The coat of arms of Ghana, designed by Amon Kotei, was introduced on 4 March 1957 by Elizabeth II. It shows a blue shield, which is divided into four parts by a St George's Cross with a golden edge. In the middle of the cross there is the golden lion of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and...

     has two eagles.
  • The Polish and the Serbian eagles are distinguished by their white color.

Historic uses:
  • The Ptolemaic
    Ptolemaic dynasty
    The Ptolemaic dynasty, was a Macedonian Greek royal family which ruled the Ptolemaic Empire in Egypt during the Hellenistic period. Their rule lasted for 275 years, from 305 BC to 30 BC...

     rulers of Egypt
    Egypt
    Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

     used it as their seal.
  • Napoleon I
    Napoleon I
    Napoleon Bonaparte was a French military and political leader during the latter stages of the French Revolution.As Napoleon I, he was Emperor of the French from 1804 to 1815...

     used the Roman Golden Eagle as the symbol of his new French empire.
  • Persian Empire: the symbol of Persian Army was an Eagle.
  • The Romans
    Ancient Rome
    Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

     used it on the standards of their armies
    Aquila (Roman)
    The Aquila was the eagle standard of a Roman legion, carried by a special grade legionary known as an Aquilifer. One eagle standard was carried by each legion.-History:...

    . From this derives:
    • The late Byzantine Empire
      Byzantine Empire
      The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

       chose a two-headed golden eagle as its symbol. It is popularly that one head symbolised ancient Rome, and the other head symbolized "new Rome" at Constantinople. From this derives:
      • The two-headed eagle is the emblem of "Shqipëria" or Land of the Eagles, which is known in English as Albania (see The Tale of the Eagle
        The Tale of the Eagle
        The Tale of the Eagle is an Albanian folk tale that explains how Albania and Albanians received their indigenous name:A youth was hunting in the mountains. An eagle flying above him alighted on top of a crag. The eagle was especially large and had a snake in its beak. After a while, the eagle flew...

         for the legendary origin of the name)
      • After the fall of Constantinople, the Russian Empire
        Russian Empire
        The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

         took the two-headed eagle as its own symbol.
    • After his crowning as the new Roman Emperor, Charlemagne
      Charlemagne
      Charlemagne was King of the Franks from 768 and Emperor of the Romans from 800 to his death in 814. He expanded the Frankish kingdom into an empire that incorporated much of Western and Central Europe. During his reign, he conquered Italy and was crowned by Pope Leo III on 25 December 800...

       adopted the ancient Roman eagle
      Aquila (Roman)
      The Aquila was the eagle standard of a Roman legion, carried by a special grade legionary known as an Aquilifer. One eagle standard was carried by each legion.-History:...

       as his own symbol. The Holy Roman Empire born of his kingdom took the eagle, but the Habsburg
      Habsburg
      The House of Habsburg , also found as Hapsburg, and also known as House of Austria is one of the most important royal houses of Europe and is best known for being an origin of all of the formally elected Holy Roman Emperors between 1438 and 1740, as well as rulers of the Austrian Empire and...

      s replaced the golden eagle
      Golden Eagle
      The Golden Eagle is one of the best known birds of prey in the Northern Hemisphere. Like all eagles, it belongs to the family Accipitridae. Once widespread across the Holarctic, it has disappeared from many of the more heavily populated areas...

       by an imperial eagle
      Reichsadler
      The Reichsadler was the heraldic eagle, derived from the Roman eagle standard, used by the Holy Roman Emperors and in modern coats of arms of Germany, including those of the German Empire, the Weimar Republic and Nazi Germany...

      . From this derives:
      • The Austrian Empire
        Austrian Empire
        The Austrian Empire was a modern era successor empire, which was centered on what is today's Austria and which officially lasted from 1804 to 1867. It was followed by the Empire of Austria-Hungary, whose proclamation was a diplomatic move that elevated Hungary's status within the Austrian Empire...

         had a two-headed eagle as its symbol. After the abolition of Austria-Hungary
        Austria-Hungary
        Austria-Hungary , more formally known as the Kingdoms and Lands Represented in the Imperial Council and the Lands of the Holy Hungarian Crown of Saint Stephen, was a constitutional monarchic union between the crowns of the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary in...

        , Austria
        Austria
        Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

         took as its symbol a one-headed eagle in the modern coat of arms of Austria
        Coat of arms of Austria
        The current coat of arms of Austria, albeit without the broken chains, has been in use by the Republic of Austria since 1919. Between 1934 and the German annexation in 1938 Austria used a different coat of arms, which consisted of a double-headed eagle...

        .
      • Prussia
        Prussia
        Prussia was a German kingdom and historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organized and effective army. Prussia shaped the history...

        , and later Germany
        Germany
        Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

         have used a black eagle as their national symbol.
      • The Spanish
        Spain
        Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

         Catholic monarchs
        Catholic Monarchs
        The Catholic Monarchs is the collective title used in history for Queen Isabella I of Castile and King Ferdinand II of Aragon. They were both from the House of Trastámara and were second cousins, being both descended from John I of Castile; they were given a papal dispensation to deal with...

        , Isabella and Ferdinand, used the eagle as a part of the royal shield representing Saint John the Evangelist
        John the Evangelist
        Saint John the Evangelist is the conventional name for the author of the Gospel of John...

        . The eagle was again on the Spanish shield under the Francoist regime and the transition to Democracy (1939–1981).
  • The Seljuk Turks and Ottoman Turks
    Ottoman Turks
    The Ottoman Turks were the Turkish-speaking population of the Ottoman Empire who formed the base of the state's military and ruling classes. Reliable information about the early history of Ottoman Turks is scarce, but they take their Turkish name, Osmanlı , from the house of Osman I The Ottoman...

     used a double-headed eagle as coats-of-arms.

Religion

The Moche
Moche
'The Moche civilization flourished in northern Peru from about 100 AD to 800 AD, during the Regional Development Epoch. While this issue is the subject of some debate, many scholars contend that the Moche were not politically organized as a monolithic empire or state...

 people of ancient Peru
Peru
Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

 worshiped the animal and often depicted eagles in their art.

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
Eagle feather law
The eagle feather law provides many exceptions to federal wildlife laws regarding eagles and other migratory birds to enable Native Americans to continue their traditional practices....

 stipulates that only individuals of certifiable Native American
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

 ancestry enrolled in a federally recognized tribe are legally authorized to obtain eagle feathers for religious
Religion
Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to...

 or spiritual
Spirituality
Spirituality can refer to an ultimate or an alleged immaterial reality; an inner path enabling a person to discover the essence of his/her being; or the “deepest values and meanings by which people live.” Spiritual practices, including meditation, prayer and contemplation, are intended to develop...

 reasons. In Canada, poaching of eagle feathers for the booming U.S. market has sometimes resulted in the arrests of First Nations person for the crime.
In Hindu
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

 religion, Garuda
Garuda
The Garuda is a large mythical bird or bird-like creature that appears in both Hindu and Buddhist mythology.From an Indian perspective, Garuda is the Hindu name for the constellation Aquila and...

 is a lesser Hindu
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

 divinity
Divinity
Divinity and divine are broadly applied but loosely defined terms, used variously within different faiths and belief systems — and even by different individuals within a given faith — to refer to some transcendent or transcendental power or deity, or its attributes or manifestations in...

, usually the mount (vahana
Vahana
Vāhana denotes the being, typically an animal or mythical entity, a particular deva is said to use as a vehicle. In this capacity, the vāhana is often called the deity's mount. Upon the partnership between the deva and his vāhana is woven much iconography and mythology...

m) of Vishnu
Vishnu
Vishnu is the Supreme god in the Vaishnavite tradition of Hinduism. Smarta followers of Adi Shankara, among others, venerate Vishnu as one of the five primary forms of God....

. is depicted as having the golden body of a strong man with a white face, red wings, and an eagle's beak and with a crown
Crown (headgear)
A crown is the traditional symbolic form of headgear worn by a monarch or by a deity, for whom the crown traditionally represents power, legitimacy, immortality, righteousness, victory, triumph, resurrection, honour and glory of life after death. In art, the crown may be shown being offered to...

 on his head. This ancient deity was said to be massive, large enough to block out the sun
Sun
The Sun is the star at the center of the Solar System. It is almost perfectly spherical and consists of hot plasma interwoven with magnetic fields...

.

The eagle is also the patron animal of Zeus
Zeus
In the ancient Greek religion, Zeus was the "Father of Gods and men" who ruled the Olympians of Mount Olympus as a father ruled the family. He was the god of sky and thunder in Greek mythology. His Roman counterpart is Jupiter and his Etruscan counterpart is Tinia.Zeus was the child of Cronus...

. In particular, Zeus was said to have taken the form of an eagle in order to abduct Ganymede
Ganymede (mythology)
In Greek mythology, Ganymede is a divine hero whose homeland was Troy. Homer describes Ganymede as the most beautiful of mortals. In the best-known myth, he is abducted by Zeus, in the form of an eagle, to serve as cup-bearer in Olympus. Some interpretations of the myth treat it as an allegory of...

, and there are numerous artistic depictions of the Eagle Zeus bearing Ganymede aloft, from Classical times up to the present (see illustrations in the Ganymede (mythology)
Ganymede (mythology)
In Greek mythology, Ganymede is a divine hero whose homeland was Troy. Homer describes Ganymede as the most beautiful of mortals. In the best-known myth, he is abducted by Zeus, in the form of an eagle, to serve as cup-bearer in Olympus. Some interpretations of the myth treat it as an allegory of...

 page.)

Further reading


External links

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