Eagles are large birds of prey which inhabit mainly the Old World, with only two species (the Bald Eagle and Golden Eagle) found in North America north of Mexico, a few in Middle and South America, two (the White-bellied Sea Eagle and Wedge-tailed Eagle) in Australia, and the Philippine Eagle in the Philippine Archipelago. They are members of the bird order Falconiformes (or Accipitriformes, according to alternative classification schemes), family Accipitridae, and belong to several genera which are not necessarily closely related to each other.*********************Eagles are differentiated from other broad-winged birds of prey mainly by their larger size, more powerful build, and heavier head and bill. Even the smallest eagles, like the Booted Eagle (which is comparable in size to a Common Buzzard or Red-tailed Hawk), have relatively longer and more evenly broad wings, and more direct, faster flight. Most eagles are larger than any other raptors apart from the vultures. Like all birds of prey, eagles have very large powerful hooked beaks for tearing flesh from their prey, strong legs, and powerful talons. They also have extremely keen eyesight to enable them to spot potential prey from a very long distance. This keen eyesight is primarily contributed by their extremely large pupils which cause minimal diffraction (scattering) of the incoming light. In Britain before 1678, Eagle referred specifically to the Golden Eagle, the other native species, the White-tailed Eagle, being known as the Erne. The modern name "Golden Eagle" for Aquila chrysaetos was introduced by the naturalist John Ray. Eagles build their nest in tall trees or on high cliffs. Their nests, which are sometimes called eyries, can grow to 3 metres (10 feet) in diameter and weigh as much as 900 kg (2000 lbs). Eagles are sometimes used in falconry. They appear prominently in myth and literature. In the Old World, such references are commonly to the Golden Eagle (or possibly closely related species found in warm climates).*******************The modern English name of the bird is derived from the Latin term aquila by way of the French Aigle. The Latin aquila may derive from the word aquilus, meaning dark-colored, swarthy, or blackish, as a description of the eagle's plumage; or from Aquilo, the Latin version of Greek Boreas, or north wind. Old English used the term Earn, related to Scandinavia's Ørn. The etymology of this word is related to Greek ornos, literally meaning "bird". In this sense, the Eagle is the Bird with a capital B.********************The eagle is a sacred bird in some cultures and the feathers of the eagle are central to many religious and spiritual customs, especially amongst Native Americans. Native Americans revere eagles as sacred religious objects and the feathers and parts of Bald and Golden Eagles are often compared to the Bible and crucifix. Eagle feathers are often used in various ceremonies and are used to honor noteworthy achievements and qualities such as exceptional leadership and bravery. Despite modern and historic Native American practices of giving eagle feathers to non-Native Americans and Native American members of other tribes who have been deemed worthy, current United States eagle feather law stipulates that only individuals of certifiable Native American ancestry enrolled in a federally recognized tribe are legally authorized to obtain eagle feathers for religious or spiritual use.