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Name: Tasha S.
Status: other
Age: 20s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 2000-2001


Question:
I have read that when an eagle gets older it finds a secluded location and begins to scrape his feathers, beak and talons on a rock until he completely scrapes them away and while he waits for them to grow back, he does not eat or drink. When they grow back they are like they were when he was young. Is this true?


Replies:
I have not heard the particular tale you refer to. This sounds like a folk tale related to the reality that all birds molt at least once a year, thus growing new feathers that would indeed be "like when they were young." They do not, as far as I know, actively scrape away the feathers, they simply fall out at the proper "pre-programmed" time, while new ones grow to replace the old ones. I do not know anything about an eagle or any other bird specifically scraping talons or beak, but birds regularly groom their plumage, and might scrape at beak and talons from time to time.

J. Elliott


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