The Wishart family’s crest emblem is a demi-eagle, wings expanded, and is incorporated in the Wishart Crest. For sheer majesty there is no bird to compare with the golden eagle. A native of Scotland, this huge bird soars above Highland peaks, its primary feathers splayed at the tips of wings spanning 7 ft, as it scans the sky and ground for its quarry. Then it thrusts towards the victim at breathtaking speed of up to 90 mph, and thumps down to nail a red grouse, ptarmigan or hare.
Eagles pair for life, and usually nest at 1500-2000 feet in Scotland. The nest is an immense basket of sticks, perched on a mountain crag or sea cliff, and is often decorated with fresh greenery. In courtship, a pair will soar in spirals over their territory and plunge earthwards with half-closed wings, sometimes rolling over in mid-air so close that their talons appear to link.
Although eagles are now protected birds in Scotland, this was not always the case. In earlier times they were hunted, and their feathers used to designate the Chiefs of Highland Clans – three eagle’s feathers for a Clan Chief, two for a Chieftain, and one for an Armiger.
Because of its size and splendid, soaring flight, the eagle has always been regarded as the king of birds. Roman soldiers used to carry the figure of an eagle on a pole in battle. The eagle is the badge of the Royal Air Force, and of the Royal Australian Air Force; it has been adopted by several European nations, and the bald-headed eagle is the emblem of the United States of America, appearing in the centre of the Presidential Seal. However, Romans apart, the eagle has been the crest emblem of Wishart long before being adopted by any nations or other organisations.