The eagles, like the wolves (wargs) in The Hobbit have always seemed weird to me. I don't know why, but even as a kid I wasn't really ready to believe that these were talking animals. For whatever reason, despite the elves and trolls and dragons, the things that kept sticking out to me were that the birds and dogs talked. It was weird.
By all accounts and purposes these are just regular eagles (and wolves), but bigger and they talk. Seems a little weird. I guess it just seemed really cartoonish, in a bad way. Like I was watching Winnie the Pooh with that talking owl.
I'm hoping to inject a little humanity into this design without anthropomorphizing it and without making it seem like a Disney movie. I originally planned on doing something like the bird people in Zelda, and that may still happen at some point in the design phase.
At this point, however, I'm just getting used to drawing birds. They are some weird things.