Friday, 6 June 2008

Amazing Facts about Eagles

The Bald Eagle is one of the most amazing creature living on this planet and it is the longest lived species of eagle, living up to 70 years (or 100). However, to reach this age, it must make a hard choice.

At the age of 30 (or 40, or 50), it flies to a high place, sheltered from the sun, where water is present, and there endures a harsh trial of endurance and change.

Its body has become overgrown with feathers, and its wings can't move as well as they once could. It plucks all the feathers from its body.

Its talons have grown curled and useless. It plucks its talons from its feet.

Its beak has grown too long and curled. It breaks its beak against a rock.

Defenseless, it cries out and waits. Other eagles hear its cry, and come to aid it in its time of renewal. They fly overhead, scaring off predators, and bringing food to their incapacitated friend.

For 150 days (or 40), it drinks the water (some variations omit the food and other eagles) and waits for its feathers, beak, and talons to grow back.

An oil sack grows on its chest, over its heart. When its beak and feathers have grown back, it pierces the oil sack and spreads the oil on its feathers. (This variation sometimes omit the feather-plucking, saying the oil "heals" the broken or old feathers.)

Many Bald Eagles don't survive this process, but those that do have the will to survive this time of change (trial, renewal, rebirth) fly away from the experience as young as a new eagle, with another 30 years of life (40, 50) still ahead.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This shouldn't be labeled Amazing Facts. It should be Amazing Myths. I don't know where this story originated but it sure got around. I work at a raptor center educating people about bald eagles and I get asked about this constantly. Pretty much everything in this story is false. They can live up to 30 in the wild and 50 in captivity. They continually molt and grow new feathers throughout their entire lives. Also, they wear their beak and talons down naturally in the wild. Bald eagles aren't very social birds so other eagles wouldn't come help out. They don't even have any predators.