Friday, 22 February 2013

Spanish Imperial Eagle - Spanish National Bird

The Spanish Imperial Eagle (Aquila adalberti) is classified as Vulnerable (VU) species of eagle, considered to be facing a high risk of extinction in the wild and occurs in central and south-west Spain, adjacent areas of Portugal and possibly northern Morocco.This eagle species is also known to eat greylag geese in southern Spain in the winter.

Interesting & Amazing facts about Spanish Imperial Eagle are:

  1. The Imperial Eagle is the second largest eagle to reside in Europe.
  2. It can grow to a length of about 0.92 meters. It can have a wingspan approaching 2.14 meters and have a mass of about 3.6 kilograms.
  3. They have bolder streaks on their under-wings and body, the lack of a pale band under the wing-coverts, and their larger and more majestic build.
  4. Both the juveniles and adults have noticeably protruding head and long, parallel-edged wings. Like other eagles, they have strong legs and feet.
  5. Their feet include long, curved talons that they use to seize, kill and carry their prey.
  6. They also have large eyes that are located slightly to the side of the head. These eyes provide them with extremely keen eyesight, allowing them to spot prey from high in the air.
  7. It gives a repeated barking ‘owk’ when calling.
  8. Nests are built in tall oak trees, in small stands of trees far from human disturbance.
  9. Parent eagles will even shelter the chicks from heavy rain.
  10. Imperial Eagles are ready to breed for the first time when they are about four years old. When they reach this age, they find a mate whom they stay with for life. If one happens to die, however, the other will usually find a new mate and breed the next year.
  11. Every pair will build a nest, called an eyrie, in the top of a tree. These nests are generally made mainly with sticks, and are used only during the spring and summer months. Females will generally lay two or three or four eggs a year.
  12. These eggs have to be incubated for about forty-three days before they can hatch, and both parents will participate in the incubation.
  13. Even though two eggs are usually hatched, it is unusual for both eaglets, or baby eagles, to survive. One is usually born a couple days earlier than the other.
  14. The young eagles are ready to fly when they are sixty days old. They stay near the nest, however, for an additional two weeks, and continue to be fed by the mother until they are ready to hunt for themselves.
  15. The imperial eagle usually hunts alone, targeting small mammals (mainly ground squirrels), reptiles, birds and carrion. 

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