by Debbie Faulkner
To Indian people, the Eagle is the messenger of the Creator, said Alvin Manitopyes. "The eagle symbolizes the love the Creator has for the Indian people of North America .... the eagle is the most spiritually evolved of all animals and birds. It is the messenger between the Indian people and the Creator. It is a very sacred bird," said Manitopyes. "(Eagles) have a lot of courage. That is why it is such an honor to earn an eagle feather." Finding an eagle feather is a gift or blessing, explained Manitopyes, and an affirmation of one's own spiritual experience.
"We have stories of people looking at eagles and a feather has fallen down at that moment for them." On Eagle's Wings: Traveling at 120 km per hour on the highway is speeding for mortals, but for migrating eagles, 120 kilometers per hour is cruising speed--going fast is 170 kilometers. The secret of eagles' speed and ease of flying--they hardly flap their wings--is knowing how to ride the mountain wind currents or thermals. By spiraling high into the sky then power-gliding on thermals, eagles can travel al most effortlessly up and down the North American continent each year.
Cruising altitude for migrating eagles is up to one kilometer above the ground.
Eag1es live on every continent except Antarctica.
Scientists estimate there are about 60 species of eagle around the world, divided Into four types:
Fish and sea eagles(including Bald Eagle),
Booted eagles(Golden Eagle),
Snake or serpent eagles.
Reprinted with permission from Wind Speaker Newspaper, May 1995