Everything you thought you knew about the right wing is wrong.
Look at this picture and point to the right wing. You’re pointing to the wing on the right side of the picture, aren’t you? Well, right is wrong. What you’re thinking of as the right wing is actually the left wing of the eagle. And the left wing? Actually the right wing!
It’s time to change your perspective.
Let’s start thinking like a bald eagle. You’re flying high above the ground– up to 10,000 feet in the sky. Feel the wing rushing through your– feathers! Remember, you’re a bird now. And you’re hungry– looking for a meal.
Success requires clear, long-distance vision.
So clear, in fact, that the eagle has 20/5 vision. Imagine being able to see an ant from the top of a ten-story building! It’s pretty incredible. What got you all the way up there, anyway?
The right wing is lightweight and agile.
The eagle’s most powerful flight muscles are located in the chest, and they can pull down hard to lift the glorious animal aloft. Yet because of the hollow bones, the wings are incredibly light! And they are able to quickly move about to steer, whether in long-distance flight or when diving in for the kill! That might sound mean, but remember, in nature…
You are predator or you are prey.
Bald eagles build massive nests, sometimes weighing over one metric ton. All that nest, but only two eggs each year. After 35 days of Mom and Dad sitting on those eggs, one or two will hatch. But there’s not a lot of sibling love between the chicks. They’re competing for food and attention.
Only the most aggressive survives.
So think about being an eagle again. While you’re usually on top of the world, mankind has thrown some problems your way. There used to be a poison called DDT that was making your egg shells thinner, but we’ve mostly stopped using that. Today a big risk is power lines. If you were an eagle, you might not expect one to be there, or you might be so big that you strike two of them at the same time– ZAP! There goes one of your wings, and you fall to the ground.
With only a crippled left wing, death is inevitable.
I hope you enjoyed learning about bald eagles today. They’re special because they’re the American mascot! Before I go, I’ll leave you with a nice patriotic picture of one.
ADAM WEISHAUPT is a Professor of Law at the University of Ingolstadt. His hobbies include rationalism, masonry, and opposition to Kantian idealism.