Average reading time is about 1 and a half minutes
AN AMAZING FACT: Because of its grace, strength, and sheer size, the bald eagle was chosen to symbolize the United States. Baby eagles (eaglets) begin their lives high in a tree nest typically five feet in diameter. After making the first break in the shell, it can take an eaglet 12 to 48 hours to completely hatch out.
The parents provide well for their offspring, and the young birds grow rapidly—they add one pound every five days. But eventually, they must learn to fly and hunt for themselves. The mother teaches her eaglets to fly by making the nest very uncomfortable. She rips up the soft padding to expose sharp sticks, bones, and rocks. Then she stops bringing food, but she’ll frequently fly by the nest of hungry eaglets sporting fresh fish or rabbits to tempt them. The little eaglets become so hungry and uncomfortable they are eventually compelled to leave the nest and commit themselves to the unknown world of air outside.
It’s incredibly dangerous, as approximately 40 percent of young eagles do not survive their first flight. It’s believed that only about 1 in 10 eagles survive to adulthood (five years old). Some of the primary reasons are gunshot wounds by hunters that kill for feathers and talons to sell on the black market and lead poisoning from eating wounded ducks, rabbits, and other game that eluded the hunter but later died. It can be tough to be an eagle; in fact, they were once declared an endangered species. But they’ve since made a comeback.
Paul encouraged young Timothy, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). Perhaps Timothy was timid and needed encouragement to “get out of the nest” and spread his wings. Certainly the eagle depicts power as well as risk that we all eventually experience in our Christian growth.
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.