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North American Eagles, Eagles Elsewhere, Eagles And Humans

Eagles are large, diurnal birds of prey in the subfamily Buteonidae, which also includes buzzards and other broad-winged hawks. The buteonids are in the order Falconiformes, which also includes falcons, osprey, goshawks, and vultures.

Like all of these predatory birds, eagles have strong, raptorial (or grasping) talons, a large hooked beak, and extremely acute vision. Eagles are broadly distinguished by their great size, large broad wings, wide tail, and their soaring flight. Their feet are large and strong, armed with sharp claws, and are well-suited for grasping prey. Some species of eagles are uniformly dark-brown colored, while others have a bright, white tail or head. Male and female eagles are similarly colored, but juveniles are generally dark. Female eagles are somewhat larger than males.

Species of eagles occur on all of the continents, except for Antarctica. Some species primarily forage in terrestrial habitats, while others are fish-eating birds that occur around large lakes or oceanic shores. Eagles are fierce predators, but they also scavenge carrion when it is available.

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