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Smiling at spring weather

April 6, 2013
By GARRY BRANDENBURG , Times-Republican

EAGLE EYES are terrific at finding food sources for this majestic bird of prey. Its eyesight is four to eight times sharper than a human's. Its eyes are fixed in the sockets however, so to look elsewhere the bird must turn its head. They do not miss much. A supra-orbital ridge is a slight extension of its skull above the eye that allows some shade to the eyeball and protection when handling prey. The bill is large and strongly hooked. It can tear flesh from a carcass in bite-sized pieces. As for its toes, the end of each toe has the business end used for restraining and killing prey. A squeeze from the talons will not allow for an escape by a rabbit, squirrel, bird, fish, waterfowl, snakes or even skunks. The soles of each toe has special scales with spiny projections called spicules that greatly help to hold slippery fish. The American Bald Eagle, Haliaeetus leucoephalus, is one of ten species of sea eagles found worldwide, except in South America.



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