Bald Eagle

STATUSNear Threatened

COMMON NAME (SCIENTIFIC NAME)Haliaeetus leucocephalus

DIETSalmon, trout, small bird species, rabbits, and carrion

RANGEThe United States, Alaska, and Canada

HABITATOpen waters is essential, forests, shrublands, inland grasslands, and marine neritic and intertidal zones

Bald Eagle

Physical Description

Bald eagles can reach up to 3ft in height, have a wingspan of 8ft, and can weigh up to 15lbs. They have a white head, white tail markings, and a brown body. Bald eagles are not actually bald; the feathers on their head are short and white. Eagles have extremely good vision but can’t move their eyes from side to side. Instead, they have to turn their whole head in order to look around.


Predators

Adults have no natural predators, but chicks are preyed upon by bobcats, wolverines, black bears, foxes, raccoons, and large birds.


Lifespan

Bald eagles live 16.5 years on average.


Reproduction

Courtship usually begins in April with both males and females performing special aerial dances in the sky where they lock onto each other’s talons and tumble/twist in the air. Bald eagles will make their nest near water and will return to their original nest. Females lay 1-3 eggs several days apart, once a year. Both parents will help take care of the chicks, but the female will be the primary caregiver while the male is the primary hunter. The chicks will remain in the nest until they are about 12 weeks old.


Fun Facts

  • The bald eagle’s grip strength is 10 times that of the average human.
  • When a bald eagle loses a feather on one wing, it will lose a matching one on the other. This way it doesn’t lose its balance.

Conservation Messaging

Most of the Bird of Prey here at the zoo are all rehabilitated birds who have sustained different injuries deeming them unreleasable. These birds fall victim to debris found on the side of the road. If it’s an apple core, banana peel, or some discarded trash it will attract their prey items which will then attract the bird of prey. Birds of prey have tunnel vision when hunting and will often not see a car coming. One simple way we can help is to dispose of all your trash properly, even natural items like apple cores and banana peels.

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