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Discovery Magazine 12/1/1990

The Eagle—God's King of the Skies

There are more than 50 species (types) of eagles throughout the world. The Bible teaches that no man could have given the eagle its marvelous abilities. Only God could have designed this beautiful bird. Job was a servant of God who lived many centuries before Jesus Christ was born. The Lord once explained to Job that the eagle has built "her nest on high" (Job 39:27). Eagles build their nests at the tops of very high trees or cliffs. Unlike many birds, which abandon their nests after their young are hatched, the eagle keeps building upon her old nest, remodeling it, year after year. One eagle's nest was found near Lake Erie which had been rebuilt so much that it weighed almost 4,000 pounds.

Once there was an evil group of people known as the Edomites. They lived high in the cliffs. This made them think that no one could conquer them. But God told them: "Though you make your nest as high as the eagle, I will bring you down" (Jeremiah 49:16). It is never wise to disobey the Lord.

Eagles have wonderfully designed wings which allow them to soar (glide with very little wing movement) for long periods of time. The prophet Isaiah once described the ability of eagles to fly and not grow tired (Isaiah 40:31). The wingspan of the eagle may be as much as 8 to 9 feet long. Their main flying feathers can be as much as 20 inches long. Eagles can fly very high. Airmen have spotted them at 10,000 feet up in the sky! They also fly very fast. They will usually glide from 35 to 55 miles per hour, but their speed has been measured at 150 mph.

Baby eagles do not automatically know how to fly. Their parents teach them, and it takes weeks and weeks of practice. God once reminded His people that He had supported them just like an eagle carries her eaglets upon her wings (Exodus 19:4).

The Bible says that the eagle spies her prey (the food she eats) "from afar" (Job 39:29). It is a scientific fact that the eagle has incredible eye sight. This great bird has been known to spot a fish from three miles high and catch it. If human beings could see this well, we would be able to read a newspaper headline from a half-mile away!

Eagles live to be very old birds. Some scientists believe that eagles can live to be more that 50 years old. The Bible seems to refer to the long age of these birds (read Psalm 103:5).

Let us thank the Creator for making wonderful birds like the eagle. They are great examples of His wisdom and power.

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