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Eagle, large bird of prey of the hawk family. Eagles have large eyes with extremely keen eyesight, hooked beaks for tearing their prey, and strong feet and talons (claws) for grabbing, killing, and carrying prey. Their size and noble attitude have led to their use in national and other emblems. The bald eagle (Haliaetus teucocephalus), named for its white head and neck, is the emblem of the United States of America, and the golden eagle was the emblem of the Roman legions. The largest eagles are the harpy eagle of South America and the Philippine eagle, whose wingspans reach 8 ft (2.4 m). Eagles spend much of their time perching on trees or rocky crags or soaring at great heights. Eagles generally feed on small mammals and birds, usually caught by pouncing from a height. The golden and bald eagles also eat carrion, although the latter is mainly a fish eater. Sea eagles and African fish eagles are fish eaters, the snake and harrier eagles eat mainly reptiles, and the black eagles rob other birds of their eggs.

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21st Century Webster's Family Encyclopedia21st Century Webster's Family Encyclopedia - Dream to Eijkman, Christiaan