Bald Eagles have 7,200 feathers. The feathers of a bird are superbly crafted to form its aerodynamic shape and protect it from the challenges of water and weather. On the wing, the outer ten flight feathers are the primaries; the inner flight feathers are the secondaries. There are also 12 tail feathers. Tail feathers serve as a rudder and stabilize flight movement.
A bald eagle has four talons on each foot. The talons start as gray in eaglets but turn black by the time the eaglet leaves the nest. The talons never change color for the rest of the eagle’s life.
Three of the toes and talons point forward while one points backward or in the opposite direction. The back toe is known as “hallux” and has a similar function as a thumb in humans. The hallux allows birds of prey to grab and carry their prey with their feet.
While most people have 20/20 vision, eagles are blessed with an amazing 20/5 vision. That means that what looks sharp and clear to us at 5 feet is just as clear to an eagle from 20 feet away. No wonder we use the term “eagle eyes” to describe superb vision.
Eagles can achieve 30 mph using powerful wing-beats and even faster when diving after prey. Bald eagles can dive at up to 100 mph.
The aerodynamic bald eagle conserves energy by gliding on rising warm air currents called thermals and flies at altitudes up to 10,000 feet.
Bald eagles can actually recognize humans. If they like you, they stick around and pose for a while.😉