How High Can An Eagle Fly? Brilliant Bird Facts To Make You Soar

Gurpuneet Kaur
Jan 17, 2023 By Gurpuneet Kaur
Originally Published on Oct 25, 2021
Edited by Lara Simpson
Fact-checked by Pradhanya Rao
American Bald eagle in flight in the forested alaska mountain
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 4.8 Min

Is glancing at the sky your favorite pass time and wondering about the creatures flying through the air?

The Ruppell's Griffon Vulture (Gyps Rueppellii) is the highest flying bird that can reach up to the height of 37073.5 ft (11300 m). Do you wonder what other birds can reach high altitudes above the clouds?

An eagle is a very large predatory bird with a huge wingspan. Eagles are apex predators and are considered raptors or birds of prey.

An eagle often refers to approximately 60 species of birds having powerful feet with talons or hooked claws and heavy beaks.

Eagles are classified into the following four groups: fish eagles which prey upon fish; harpy eagles that inhabit tropical forests; snake eagles that feed on various reptiles; and booted eagles that hunt and eat small mammals, birds, and reptiles.

Bald Eagles are the most common species and are often simply referred as an eagle. They belong to the group of fish eagles and have two subspecies, the Northern Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus washingtoniensis) and the Southern Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus leucocephalus). Bald Eagles have a distinctive white-feathered head which gives them their name.

Eagles often fly at high altitudes ranging between 10000-20000 ft (3048-6096 m). Surprisingly, they can also soar above the clouds to avoid extreme weather and rains. Isn't it amazing how eagles can breathe at high altitudes?

Different subspecies of eagles have varying flight speeds and soar at different heights or altitudes. Eagles have considerable strength, energy, and speed to fly higher and for more extended periods of time. When an eagle grows older, its eyesight and the power of its wing muscles deteriorate!

What do you do when you grow weak? You would probably call your doctor and take medicines until you felt better. Likewise, an eagle soars to the sun to rejuvenate its strength.

The sunlight helps the eagle's old feathers and the mist hindering its eyesight. Surprising, isn't it? Read on to decipher the speeds of various eagles.

If you enjoy this article, why not also read about bald eagle vs. golden eagle and How high can chickens fly? here on Kidadl?

Types Of Eagles And Their Flight Abilities

There are 60 subspecies of eagles, including Golden eagles, Bald eagles, White-tailed Eagles, Steller's Sea Eagles, Philippine Eagles, Black Eagles, African Fish Eagles, and many others that are classified as eagles. Although all eagles fly high and have considerable speeds, the flight speed and height from the ground of an individual subspecies may differ.

Did you know eagles can soar for hours and that too effortlessly? Isn't that too surprising?

Also, an eagle is recorded to dive or stoop to prey at a very high flight speed, compared to its usual speed. Eagles dive and attack the prey at an average speed of 186.4 mph (300 kph) with sharp beaks and large and strong talons as their potential weapons.

They can glide while flying whenever they sight food. They have keen eyesight to sight the tiniest food or prey from a distance as high as 10000-20000 ft (3048-6096 m) from the ground.

Adult eagles often nest and roost in high places as they climb and fly up to considerable heights. They often maintain their speed by changing the positions of their wings.

How do eagles fly so high?

Unlike many birds, eagles do not flap their wings; instead, they rely on rising currents to gain altitude. Like how high eagles fly, they nest and roost at comparatively higher places compared to other birds. While the average flight speed of an eagle is 62 mph (100 kph), it flies as high as 10000-20000 ft (3048-6096 m).

Eagles have incredible eyesight to detect prey from multiple feet above the ground. Also, they have the power to stare into the sunlight directly.

Moreover, eagles can fly through the sky without any hindrance in extreme hot or cold conditions. They hardly lose their stamina after flying for hours around the world. They also have long wings and a wide-ranging wingspan.

Golden Eagle in flight in the mountains

How long can an eagle fly?

Although eagles are known for their speed and power, eagles fly up to 225 mi (362.1 km) per day! When compared to the human's stamina to walk and move, a person can move about 30 mi (48.2 km) on average.

Since eagles do not flap their wings to fly, unlike several birds, flying doesn't cost a lot of energy to eagles. Thus, eagles fly for hours and hours without perching.

Also, most eagles, including the Golden Eagles and Bald Eagles, hunt during their flight. Muscle fatigue is the only limiting factor for the eagles to hinder their ability to fly in the sky for continuous hours.

Can eagles fly higher than crows?

A crow is also a bird of prey like an eagle. Since a crow is known to harass an eagle or a falcon, an eagle with its longer wingspan can fly higher than a crow to avoid them.

Often eagles like bald eagles fly lonely above the clouds. Sparrows, geese, and other small flying birds are not even a competition to an eagle. Also, an eagle can fly high above the clouds to shelter and protect itself from extreme weather and predators, especially crows.

While there may be species of the bird flying around eagles or having a momentum equal to that of an eagle, Ruppell's griffon vulture is the highest flying bird recorded to fly higher than an eagle. It can fly up to 37073.5 ft (11300 m) above the surface.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for How high can an eagle fly? then why not take a look at biggest eagle in the world or Australian wedge-tail eagle facts?

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Written by Gurpuneet Kaur

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

Gurpuneet Kaur picture

Gurpuneet KaurBachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

As a skilled content writer, Gurpuneet has written and managed engaging content for multiple websites and companies. Driven by a passion for helping young people achieve their full potential, she brings a unique perspective to her work. She is currently pursuing a degree in Economics from Sri Guru Gobind Singh College Of Commerce. With extensive experience as a tutor, Gurpuneet has made a significant impact by providing guidance and academic support to students. Her dedication extends beyond tutoring as she has volunteered with Action India, where she offered medical assistance and educational aid to underprivileged communities. Additionally, Gurpuneet has contributed to the creation of student study guides for various educational agencies.

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Fact-checked by Pradhanya Rao

Bachelor of Commerce specializing in Marketing and HR

Pradhanya Rao picture

Pradhanya RaoBachelor of Commerce specializing in Marketing and HR

With a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Christ University, Bangalore, Pradhanya's passion for the English language and literature led her to explore the field of content writing, where she has gained extensive experience in writing, reviewing, editing, and fact-checking. She has also earned certifications in Google Ads Search, Google Ads Display, and Social Media Marketing, showcasing her proficiency in digital marketing.

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