Bald Eagle

ANIMAL:
Bald Eagle             Haliaeetus leucocephalus

Type of Animal:
Eagle

Habitat:
Wetlands, seacoasts, coastlines, rivers, lakes, marshes, streams, mangroves, shorelines, estuaries, pinelands, seasonally flooded flatwoods, hardwood swamps, groves, reservoirs, forests near bodies of water, riparian areas, pastureland/rangeland w/ trees, prairies, meadows, tundra, open forest, urban areas, rural areas, suburbs, dams, dumps, fish processing plants, open uplands near water, grasslands near water

Location(s):
Alaska, Canada, continental US, & N Mexico

Appearance:
Distinct brown feathers w/ white head & yellow hooked beak, yellow feet, dark talons, females larger than males, immatures dark brown w/ white streaks & black yellow tipped beak

Food/Diet:
Fish (especially salmon but others too), carrion, refuse, birds up to size of cranes, vulture vomit, amphibians, turtles, young crocodilians, snakes, lizards, crabs, crayfish, rodents (including larger species like muskrat & beaver), small deer, moles, shrews, lagomorphs, sheep, goats, otters, bobcat kittens, pinniped pups, domestic piglets, raccoons, cats, weasels, foxes, small dogs, mink

Status in Wild:
Stable

Conservation:
Banning of pesticide DDT in 1972 helped populations slowly recover. Removed from U.S. Endangered & Threatened Species List in 2007, even though populations have been stable since 1980’s.

Lifestyle:
Monogamous pairs, sometimes found in groups of 4-30, especially at carcasses/salmon runs. Sometimes found alone as well.

Additional Info:

Called:
Male-Tiercel
Female-Hen
Young-Eaglet
Group-Convocation
 
Weight:
Male-9 lbs
Female-12 lbs
Young-2 lbs

Gestation:
1 month 

Life Span:
20-30 years

Height:
Male-2.5-2.83 ft
Female-2.91-3.08 ft

Body Length:
Male-2.5-2.83 ft
Female-2.91-3.08 ft

Tail Length:
1 ft

Main predators of adults are bears, wolves, & crocodilians. Owls, hawks, raccoons, gray squirrels, corvids, bobcats, gulls, golden eagles, other bald eagles (in rough times), wolverines, & foxes prey on young.
 
Pesticide DDT responsible for major decline in Bald Eagle populations until banning in 1972. This pesticide caused eggshells to thin, leading to less eggs hatching.
 
Often steals prey from other animals.
 
Play important roles in many Native American tribes.
 
Males have 5.9 ft wingspan while females have 7.5 ft wingspan.
 
Due to sibling rivalry, only 1 eaglet usually survives.

Fun Fact(s):

Can dive up to 100 mph.

National symbol of the U.S.
 
Build huge nests known as aeries averaging 4-5 ft in diameter & 2-4 ft deep. Largest recorded was 9.5 ft in diameter, 20 ft deep, & weighed almost 3 tons.

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