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Name: Rebecca M.
Status: other
Age: 30s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 7/11/2003

I was reading a verse in the bible, Deuteronomy 32:11, and wondered about the behavior of a mother eagle. Has anyone observed how she trains her babies to fly? Deutoronomy 32:11 suggests:

"like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young, that spreads its wings to catch them and carries them on its pinions"

Exerpted from Compton's Interactive Bible NIV. Copyright (c) 1994, 1995, 1996 SoftKey Multimedia Inc. All Rights Reserved

Could anyone give me more detail on the mother eagle's methods of training her young to fly?


Young eagles, and other bird, learn to fly by imitation and experimentation, there is no direct involvement by the adult, certainly they do not catch or carry their fledglings.

J. Elliott

......and I am simply wondering what sources J. Elliott used to answer this question. I used to be a biologist and I haven't been able to find any sources that would back up J. Elliott's claim. I asked this question a couple of weeks ago and still have not received an answer. I look forward to investigating the sources you list and have enjoyed your helpful website very much. Thank you.

As I recall the original question referred to a mother eagle physically carrying or assisting the young. There is no source to cite regarding the specific question. I have many books on bird behavior, including the dated but thorough "Life Histories of North American Birds" (multiple volumes) by A.C. Bent, none of which mention such behavior. The account of bald eagles from this work is on the web at The golden eagle account is on the same site.

J. Elliott

As a member of a research team investigating the anticipated reproductive recovery of the American Bald Eagle from DDT in northern Minnesota, I have witnessed, first hand, the care of adult Bald Eagles toward their young. There was no indication whtsoever that the adults assisted the young in their flight development. It was obvious that this behvaior was innate and little or no learning was involved.

Steve Sample

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