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Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Photo by: anderle.smugmug.com
L. Aquila, Eng. eagle. The eagle, as a bird of prey, was part of the stamp for hunting with the greyhound and the horse. Of all the rapine birds, it is the most handsome, the most agile and the most valiant. The female’s plumage covers long wings that can endure flights that are longer and swifter. It maintains more constant speeds than the others of its family, including even its own mate. While the males is smaller and less adapt in the chase, the female is so rapid that Henry IV of Castile’s falconer lost one that flew more than 300 leagues, i.e. half the distance between Malta and Paris, in one day. When it wants to elevate its position, it flies against the wind. It swoops down on its prey in a twinkling of an eye catches it in mid-air and zooms up again and out of sight in no time. It has one or two upper teeth on each side permitting it to kill its prey with more facility than other family members. Its long, curled, gripping, powerful claws bring fear to the bravest being. Eagles trained for falconry learned only to seek game the owner wanted. They have been known to hunt four or five foxes in a day. Although trained from the nest, at first they hunt anything with no distinction, including the lord’s children if allowed. Falconry training was an art passed on from father to son. Boys began training the sparrow hawk, working up to the goshawk and the peregrine. The last and most difficult bird to train is the eagle. If and when allowed to that the young man knew he had reached the summit of professionalism. The Iberian imperial eagle (Aquila adalberti) lived throughout Iberian and NE Morocco during the Middle Ages. It especially likes thickets and woods, building nests in holm oak and cork oak trees. It can breed before becoming an adult at age five and lays one to four eggs. It eats some 90 species of vertebrates, including wild boar. It only eats about 10 oz (270 gr) per day, i.e. 6.6.% of its weight. See alcornoque, encina and halcón. [Benavides-Barajas. Nueva-Clásica. 1995:199, 219; Espasa 1988:27:GUB:554; ES: Bedwell. Jan 4, 03; ES: Gypaetus. Apr 23, 02; ES: Rud. Mar 23, 01; Ency Brit. 1998:4:Delusion:664:2b; and OXF Eng Dict. 1989:V:Dvandva:16]

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