Eagle Adaptations:The Wings
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Eagle wings have several adaptations for the eagle's fishing life.
- Shape: Long, broad wings like an eagle's take a lot of energy to flap,
but are wonderful for riding effortlessly on thermals. Like all birds, eagles
must minimize the energy they need for flight over
- "Fingers" or slotted primaries: This provides more lift
with less weight--important for birds that ride thermals
- Size: Eagle wings are big enough to carry the weight of the eagle PLUS
the weight of a fairly large fish. And if the fish is too heavy to pull out
of the water, the eagle can use its long wings to paddle to shore!
- Color: The pigment that makes an eagle's wing feathers black also
makes those feathers stronger, which is important when feathers hit the water
while fishing and when flying.