THE GREAT EAGLE : IT’S STRENGTH

I woke up feeling all down and out and decided to find something interesting to do to kill the state of mood i was finding myself. I then decided to log onto the internet and just read just anything anything.

I opened my google browser and decided to read about just anything and what came to mind immidiately was that of about eagles, i then therefore asked what about eagles and decided to read about how great and it’s strength. Below i found a very interesting piece and i decided to share with you all so i hope you enjoy reading.

But beforeyou read the full article, look at this reference about the bird Eagle;

The eagle is capable of living for an extraordinary length of time without food. The bird that belonged to Mr. Holland was at one time, through the neglect of servants, suffered to remain without food for twenty-one days. Redi also mentions that he kept two of the same species alive, one for twenty-eight, and the other for twenty-one days, without any food whatever. Another that was caught in a fox-trap refused food for five weeks after its capture, and was then killed.

The great strength of the eagle lies chiefly in its beak, talons, and wings, and there is scarcely any animal that is a match for it. A single stroke of an eagle’s wing has been known to strike a man dead on the spot. All the proper eagles dislike carrion, in which they are distinguished from the vultures. They like no prey but that which they take for themselves, and they devour it while fresh. They usually carry their prey entire to their eyrie and there devour it. They are capable of carrying animals nearly as heavy as themselves to a great distance,–sometimes as much as forty miles. but, when they have killed a calf or deer, they satiate themselves upon the spot, and carry away choice pieces only to their young. The different species vary in their food. Some pounce on fish, others confine themselves to reptiles and insects, while some prey on the smaller quadrupeds and birds. According to Spallanzani, eagles have a decided aversion to bread, and refuse to eat it even after long fasting. Nevertheless, then forced into their stomach, it is digested like any other aliment. It is said that they never drink water, and it is certain that they can dispense with it for a great length of time. yet, when it is presented to them, they plunge and bathe in it, and even drink it like other birds.

The great eagle is very destructive to lambs, young deer, kids, hares, poultry, &c. Low, in his ‘Fauna Orcadensis,’ says, that they do not abstain from port in the Orkneys, but occasionally seize both old and young swine. A clergyman told him that he had seen one, mounted in the air, with a pretty large pig in her talons, which she let fall alive when he fired at her. Martin, in his ‘Description of the Western Island of Scotland,’ published in 1716, speaking of this bird, says:–“The eagles are very destructive to the fawns and lambs. The natives observe that it fixes its talons between the deer’s horns, and beats its wings constantly about its eyes, which puts the deer to run continually till it falls into a ditch or over a precipice, where it dies, and so becomes a prey to this cunning hunter. There are at the same time several other eagles of this kind, which fly on both sides of the deer, which fright it exceedingly, and contribute much to its more sudden destruction.”

We rather doubt the latter portion of this statement, which describes several eagles as uniting their exertions against the deer; as we do not remember to have met with any other instance of more than a single pair hunting together. The eagle never engages in a perfectly solitary chace, except when the female is confined to her eggs or her young. At that season the proper prey of these eagles is generally so abundant that the male is able to provide for his own wants and those of the family without the assistance of the female. At other times they unite their exertions, and are always seen either together or only at a short distance from each other. It is said that the one beats the bushes while the other, perched on an eminence, watches the escape of the prey.

Pennant adds his authority to the former part of Martin’s statement, and says that the eagles in the island of Rum have nearly extirpated the deer that used to abound there. He also states that eagles seem to give a preference to the carcases of cats and dogs. “Persons who make it their business to kill these birds lay that of one or other by way of bait, and then conceal themselves within gun-shot. They fire the instant the eagle alights, for she that moment looks about before she begins to prey.”

Martin, in the work just quoted, relates the following anecdote; and one very similar is also related by Sir Robert Sibbald. “There’s a couple of large eagles who have their nest on the north end of the isle [St. Kilda]. The inhabitants told me that they commonly make their purchase in the adjacent isles and continent, and never take so much as a lamb or hen from the place of their abode, where they propagate their kind. I forgot to mention a singular providence that happended to a native of the isle of Skie, called Neil, who, when an infant, was left by his mother in the field, not far from the houses on the north side of Loch-Portrie; an eagle came in the mean time and carried him away in its talons as far as the south side of the loch, and there laid him on the ground. Some people that were herding sheep there perceived it, and hearing the infant cry, ran immediately to its rescue; and by good providence found him untouched by the eagle, and carried him home to his mother. He is still living in that parish, and by reason of this accident is distinguished among his neighbours by the sirname of Eagle.” Ray mentions an instance of a child a year old being seized by an eagle in one of the Orkneys and carried to the eyry, about four miles distant. But the mother, who was aware of its situation, pursued the bird thither, found her child in the nest, and took it home unhurt. It is not improbable that some similar circumstance gave rise to the impression of an eagle and child on the coin of the Isle of Man.

Other parents have been less fortunate in rescuing their children from the power of the eagle. The following instance is from Landt’s ‘Description of the Feroe Islands:’–“The white-tailed eagle built its nest formerly on Tintholm, where some ruins of houses still show that a family once resided. The eagle one day darted down on a young child, which was lying at a little distance from its mother, and carried it to its nest. The mother hastened to the rock where the nest was constructed, and which is so steep towards the summit that the most experienced and boldest bird-catchers have never endured to climb up it; but the poor woman arrived too late, for the child was already dead, and its eyes torn out.” Another instance occurred in the parish of Norderhougs in Norway, in 1737. As a boy, upwards to two years of age, was running from the house to his parents, who were at work in the fields at no great distance, an eagle pounced upon him and carried him off in their sight, in spite of the poor little fellow’s screams and efforts. it is even stated by Anderson, in his ‘History of Iceland,’ that the same unhappy fate has occasionally in that island befallen children of four or five years of age.

We give no opinion as to the truth of these statements: but it is right to consider that the great eagle certainly does assail animals more vigorous and bulky than a little child; and when, therefore, there is any good evidence, we see no reason for being incredulous in this matter.

In consequence of their rapacious habits, and the injury which they did to the inhabitants by destroying their cattle, they were formerly proscribed in Orkney. In the old acts of the country is found the following, which we quote as given in Low’s ‘Fauna Orcadensis:’–“Anent slaying of the earne*. Apud Kirkwal, decimo die Decembris, anno 1625. The qlk day it is statute and ordained be Thomas Buchannan, sheriff-deput of Orkney, with consent of the gentlemen and suiters of the court, being put for the tyme, that whatsoever persone or persones shall slay the earne or eagle shall have of the bailzie of the parochine, qr it shall happen him to slay the earne or eagle, viiid.** for every rick within the parochine, except of the cottars who has not sheip; and xxs.† to ilk persone for ilk earne’s nest it shall happen him to herrie; and they shall put the same to the bailzie, and the bailzie shall be holden to present the head of the said earne at the heat court.”

The quantity of provision found near the nest described by Willughby, will give some notion of the devastations committed by the larger eagles. Smith, in his ‘History of Kerry,’ relates that a poor man in that country got a comfortable subsistence for his family, during a summer of dearth, out of an eagle’s nest, by robbing the eaglets of the good brought by the old ones, whose attendance on their young he contrived to prolong beyond the usual time by clipping the wings of the eaglets, and thus retarding their flight; as also by binding them so as to increase their cries, and thus stimulate the exertions of the old ones in supplying their wants. It was well for him that the parents did not happen to discover him while thus occupied, or the consequences might not have been very pleasant. Another Irish peasant, who had determined to rob an eagle’s nest on one of the islands in the lake of Killarney, was less fortunate in his undertaking. He swam over when the old birds were gone, and secured the young birds; but on his return, and while up to the chin in water, the old ones fell upon him, killed him by their terrible pounces at this head, and rescued their offspring.

It is related in the life of De Thou, the historian, that when himself and Monsieur Schomberg were passing through part of France on an embassy from Henry III. to the king of Navarre, they were entertained for some days at Mande, the seat of the Bishop and Count of Gevaudan. At the first repast, it was observed with some surprise, that all the wild-fowl or game brought to table wanted either a head, or wing, a leg, or some other part, which occasioned their host pleasantly to apologize for the voracity of his caterer, who always took the liberty of first tasting what he had procured before it was brought to table. On perceiving the increased surprise of his guests, he informed them that in the mountainous regions of that district the eagles were accustomed to build their eyries among the almost inaccessible rocks, which can only be ascended by ladders and grappling-irons. The peasants, however, when they have discovered a nest, erect a small hut at the foot of the rock, in which to shelter themselves from the fury of the birds when they convey provisions to their young; as also to watch the times of their departure from the nest. When this happens, they immediately plant their ladders, climb the rocks, and carry off what the eagles have conveyed to their young, substituting the entrails of animals and other offal. The prey has generally been mutilated by the young eagles before the men can get at it; but in compensation for this disadvantage, it has a much finer flavour than any thing the markets can afford. He added, that when the young eagles have acquired strength enough to fly, the shepherds fasten them to the nest, that the parent birds may continue to supply them the longer with food. Three or four eagles’

nests were in this way sufficient to furnish a splended table throughout the year; and so far from murmuring at the ravages of the eagles, he thought himself very happy in being situated in their neighbourhood, and reckoned every eyrie as a kind of annual rent.

Eagles are remarkable for their longevity. Keysler mentions an eagle that died at Vienna after a confinement of 104 years. A golden eagle is mentioned by Pennant which was nine years in the possession of Owen Holland, Esq., having previously lived thirty-two years with the gentleman from whom he received it; but what was its age when it came into the possession of the latter person is not known. Some writers state that the death of the old eagle is hastened by the increased curvature of the beak, which prevents them from taking their food any longer; but we have no evidence of this. In old age individuals of this species become more or less hoary, or partially of a pure white. Similar changes are induced by disease or by prolonged captivity or hunger.

I am sure you enjoyed reading and also educated yourself  little for the day.

Credit:

Cyberstudies

 

 

 

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