Bald eagles belong to a scientific grouping of eagles known as sea-eagles or fish eagles.
Bald eagles are North American birds. Their range extends from the Mexico border through the United States and Canada. They are extremely populous in Alaska!
They are almost always found near water, on coastlines, lakes, rivers, swamps, and marshes.
Lifespan is around 20 years in the wild, with the oldest confirmed one having been 38 years of age.
In captivity, they often live somewhat longer. In one instance, a captive individual in New York lived for nearly 50 years.
The bald eagle has a body length of 70 to 102 centimeters (28–40 inches).
Bald eagle’s wingspan ranges from 1.8 to 2.3 meters (5.9 and 7.5 feet).
They are weight from 3 to 6.3 kilogram (6.6 and 13.9 lb).
Females are about 25% larger than males.
Bald eagles are not bald their head is covered with short, white feathers.
The name comes from an old English word, “balde,” meaning white.
Bald eagles can see 4 to 7 times better than humans!
They are able to see things sharply from quite far away. This, of course, helps them spot their prey from
high in the sky or from a lofty perch in a tree or cliff ledge.
But unlike humans eyes, an eagle’s eyes can’t move from side to side. So to look around, the eagle has to turn its whole head.
Bald eagles can soar over 3,000 meters (9842 feet) high, and their great eyesight lets them see fish up to 1.6 kilometers (1 mile) away.
When they attack, they drop down at up to 160 kilometers (100 miles) an hour! Then they glide just above the water, snag a fish with their feet, and fly off to eat it.
Bald Eagles favorite food is fish.
Other foods include: ducks, turtles, snakes, frogs, muskrats, squirrels, rabbits, fawns (baby deer), snails, mice and other birds.
They also may steal food from other birds or visit human garbage dumps!
Most eagles are silent, except during the breeding season. But bald eagles are famous for their harsh, cackling call, which the birds use throughout the year.
Bald eagles mate for life, but when one dies, the survivor will not hesitate to accept a new mate. During breeding season, both birds protect the nest territory from other eagles and predators.
Bald eagles are monogamous but solitary animals, they spend winters and migrations alone.
Bald eagles makes a large nest high in a sturdy tree, or sometimes on the ground if no tree is around.
They come back to their nest year after year, adding more twigs, grass, moss, feathers, and branches to the original nest until it becomes huge.
The largest bald eagle nest on record was 3 meters (9.5 feet) wide and 6 meters (20 feet) high. It weighed more than 2 tons.
When the nest is to the eagles’ liking, the female lays 1 to 3 eggs. Both male and female take turns keeping the eggs warm day and night until they hatch.
Bald eagle females lay their eggs several days apart, once a year.
The first eaglet (chick) to hatch gets an advantage over its younger siblings, since it has had several days to grow.
It is not uncommon for the older eaglet to kill the smaller one, especially if the older is a female, as females are consistently larger than males.
Both parents help care for the eaglets. The mother does most of the chick-sitting, and the father provides the food for the family.
Newly hatched, eaglets are soft, grayish-white down covers their small bodies, their wobbly legs are too weak to hold their weight, and their eyes are partially closed eyes, limiting vision. Their only protection is their parents.
Eagles feed their young by shredding pieces of meat from their prey with their beaks.
By 3 weeks they are 30 centimeters (1 foot) high and their feet and beaks are very nearly adult size.
At 6 weeks, the eaglets are very nearly as large as their parents.
They turn dark brown just before they leave the nest at about 12 weeks old.
Their head and neck feathers don’t turn white until they are mature.
Native Americans consider the bald eagle and the golden eagle to be sacred.
These graceful birds have been the national symbol of the United States since 1782.
Bald eagles were on the brink of extinction because of hunting and pollution. But laws created almost 40 years ago have helped protect them, and they’ve made a comeback.
In 2007, the bald eagle was removed from endangered and threatened species list kept by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.