Mystery - Find a collection of mystery stories Visit Mystery Stories.caInformational Site Network Informational

Domestic Animals

Dog Breeds   -   Dogs   -   Cats  -   Fish  -   Guinea Pigs

Farms Animals

Mules   -   Cattle

Wild Animals

Ducks   -  Birds   -  Bee Keeping   -  Bee Hunting   -  Fur Animals

Most Viewed

The Bullfinch
Look at the bright colours of this beautiful little bird: y...

The Flamingo
Is not this a beautiful bird, though rather singular in its...

The Swan
You are no doubt well acquainted with this beautiful bird, ...

The Kestrel
This picture represents the kestrel, one of the smallest an...

The Eagle
The Eagle is often called the King of Birds, and therefore ...

The Albatross
This is the largest of all sea-birds, and you are not very ...

The Duck
There is so much that is interesting to tell you about the ...

The Vulture
This strange looking bird is also a bird of prey; but it fe...

The Robin Redbreast
Every little boy and girl well knows this pretty little bir...

The Quail
The quail is the smallest of the poultry tribe, and is a pr...

Least Viewed

[illustration: The Goose]
Amongst the Romans this bird was held sacred to Juno, their s...

The Pheasant
This beautiful bird comes originally from the East, and tak...

The Magpie
The Magpie is a very pretty and cunning bird. It is easy to...

The Lapwing
This little bird which is often called the Pewit, from its ...

The Goose
Have you not often heard people say "as silly as a goose"? ...

The Owl
This solemn looking bird is seldom to be seen by day. It is...

The Quail
The quail is the smallest of the poultry tribe, and is a pr...

The Robin Redbreast
Every little boy and girl well knows this pretty little bir...

The Vulture
This strange looking bird is also a bird of prey; but it fe...

The Duck
There is so much that is interesting to tell you about the ...

The Eagle

The Eagle is often called the King of Birds, and therefore it is of him
that we ought to speak first. Very likely you have often seen eagles in
the Zoological Gardens, and, if so, you know what noble looking birds
they are. But they seem very sad in their prison-houses, to which no
kindness can ever attach them. They are formed to soar boldly to the top
of some lonely mountain height, and there dwell far from the abode of
men. And to chain them down upon a stunted branch, within reach of all
who like to go and gaze upon them, seems treating them unworthily. One
can almost fancy that they show by their sullen, brooding attitude, and
sparkling eyes, how much they feel themselves degraded and out of place.
I cannot tell you that the Eagle is of any real service to man, but
every one who has been out amongst the mountains, reckons it a fine
sight if he can catch a glimpse of one or more of these noble birds
soaring in the air. Eagles are found in every country where there are
mountains. In Ireland, and sometimes in England and Scotland, the large
golden eagle is found, and is a very fine bird. In America there is an
eagle called the Bird of Washington, which is so large that its wings
spread out from seven to ten feet. The body of the bird is not so very
much larger than a goose; but, as this eagle can fly as many as 140
miles in an hour, it wants very large strong wings to bear it onwards.
The North American Indians--you have heard of them, have you not?--fine
handsome looking men they are, though copper-coloured; and in former
times before Columbus first found out America, the whole of that vast
continent belonged to the Indians and had no other inhabitants;--well,
these men have a great feeling of reverence for the eagle. They admire
him very much, because he is bold, active, watchful, and patient in
bearing with want. All these qualities the Indians value in men, and
they say the eagle is noble above all birds because he possesses them.
But for all that they kill him, and will watch for days to get a chance
of shooting their prize. And they think his feathers the very finest
ornament they can wear, and on grand occasions the chiefs deck
themselves with eagles' plumes as a sign of their rank. These feathers
are also used by them in making arrows. For the feathers of the eagle do
not get spoiled by wet or pressure, as those of other birds would do,
but always remain firm and strong.

Another eagle is called the Erne, White-tailed, or Sea Eagle. These
birds live near the sea-shore, and feed upon fish. Their sight is so
piercing that they can mark a fish swimming far below them as they hover
over the water, and, pouncing down, will strike their strong talons into
it, and steer themselves and their prey ashore by their great outspread
wings. The African Eagle is said to be very generous in his disposition,
and certainly deserves to be called kingly. Although he will not allow
any large bird to dwell in peace too near him, yet he never harms the
little warblers who flutter round his nest. He will let them perch in
safety upon it, and if they are attacked by any bird of prey, he is said
even to fly to their protection.

The eagle is, however, himself a bird of prey, and is often found a very
troublesome neighbour. Hares, rabbits, poultry, nay, even lambs have
been carried off by these powerful birds, for when excited by hunger
they will attack even those creatures which are larger than themselves.
Deer and even oxen have been pounced upon by eagles and buffeted about
the head until they fell down quite helpless, but there are not many
instances of this kind. We are also told of little children who have
been carried up into their nests by the old birds as food for their
young; and one very old story of the kind, taken from an old book in
English history, I must tell you. "Alfred, king of the West Saxons, went
out one day a hunting, and, passing by a certain wood, heard as he
supposed the cry of an infant, from the top of a tree, and forthwith
diligently inquiring of the huntsmen what that doleful sound could be,
commanded one of them to climb the tree, when in the top of it was found
an eagle's nest, and lo! therein a pretty sweet-faced infant, wrapped up
in a purple mantle, and upon each arm a bracelet of gold, a clear sign
that he was born of noble parents. Whereupon the king took charge of
him, and caused him to be baptized, and because he was found in a nest,
he gave him the name of Nestringam, and in after time, having nobly
educated him, he advanced him to the dignity of an earl."

Eagles are said to be very long lived; one died at Vienna that had lived
in confinement more than one hundred years. Their cry consists of two
notes, uttered in a loud sharp key. They make a flat nest, formed of
loose sticks, on the top of some solitary rock where they are not likely
to be disturbed, and lay two eggs. Whilst the young are not able to fly,
they are carefully fed by the parent birds, who are then more fierce
than usual, and forage everywhere for food, carrying off fawns, lambs,
hares, &c., never, if possible, touching any animal already dead. Smith,
in his history of Kerry, a county in Ireland, tells us of a poor man
then living there, who got "a comfortable subsistence for his family
during a summer of famine, out of an eagle's nest, by robbing the
eaglets of the food the old ones brought." And lest he should lose this
supply too soon, he was clever enough to cut the wings of the young
birds when they were old enough to fly, so that the unsuspecting parents
went on feeding them much longer than usual. Mr. Dunn says he once saw,
while shooting on Rona's Hill, a pair of skua gulls chase and completely
beat off a large sea eagle. The gulls struck at him several times, and
at each stroke he screamed loudly, but never offered to return the

Next: The Duck

Add to Add to Reddit Add to Digg Add to Add to Google Add to Twitter Add to Stumble Upon
Add to Informational Site Network

Viewed 1342

Untitled Document