Class : Aves
2. Order : Falconiformes
3. Family : Acci[itridae
4. Genus Species : Haliaeetus leucephalus
5. Size : The female bald eagle is 35 to 37 inches, slightly larger
than the male. With a wingspan which varies from 79 to 90 inches.
The male bald eagle has a body length from 30 to 34 inches. The
wingspan ranges from 72 to 85.
6. Weight : Bald eagles weigh from 10 to 14 pounds.
7. Description : The adults have a blackish-brown back and breast;
a white head, neck and tail; and yellow feet and tails. A bald eagle's
skin is protected by feathers lined down. The feet are cold resistance
because they are mostly tendon. The outside of the bill is mostly
non-living material, with little blood supply. An eagle's wings
are long and broad, making them effective for soaring. To help reduce
turbulence as air passes over the end of the wings are tapered so
that when the eagle fully extends its wings, the tips are widely
separated. The tail is very important for flight and maneuvering.
While the bald eagle is soaring or gliding in flight, the tails
are spread , in order to attain the largest surface area and increase
the effect of thermals and updrafts. The tail also helps to brake
the eagle when landing and assists in stabilization during a controlled
dive or swoop toward prey. The strength of the feathers and the
follicles holding the feathers is quite impressive, while watching
the tail move back and forth up and down during maneuvers.
8. Life Span : Bald eagles may live as long as 30 years, but the
average lifespan is probably 15 to 20 years.
9. Reproduction : Female bald eagles usually lay 2 eggs but will
occasionally lay 1 or 3. Both bald eagles take part in sitting on
the eggs and once hatched, feeding the chicks. The eaglets hatch
after about 35 days.
10. Gestation : 35 days
11. Habitat : Bald eagles are found throughout North America. They
nest and roost in high places depending on the area. In the south,
they tend to roost and nest in tall trees, preferably pine. These
nests are generally 45 to 70 feet off the ground. The bald eagles
keep their nesting sites and use them year after year. Every year
the eagles will nest so over time they grow to be quite large.
12. Diet : The bald eagle primarily feed on fish. When severe winter
weather causes a previously reliable food to become unreliable,
bald eagles hunt uplands for other birds and mammals, or they scavenge.
If severe conditions persist, eagles concentrate in the few remaining
open-water areas or migrate further.
13. Predators : Bald eagles do not have major predators. Occasionally,
osprey will fight back and crows will pester them, but rarely is
any damage done to the eagle.
14. Endangered Status : Endangered
15. Special features : The bald eagle's eyesight is 8 times more
powerful than a human's. The bright yellow feet of adults are strong,
unfeathered and equipped with long, sharp, black talons for penetrating
and grasping prey. The powerful, bright, yellow, hooked bill is
used for tearing and dismembering prey
16. Social Organization : Bald eagles mate for life but seldom with
this pair roost with a group of eagles
17. Conservation Status : The Endangered Species Act of 1973 created
additional framework for the future protection of the bald eagle
and its habitat and provided fines or imprisonment for killing or
the sale of bald eagles. The bald eagle was listed as endangered
under the Nebraska Nongame and Endangered Species Conservation Act
concurrent with it's listing under the Federal Act in1978.
18. Behaviors : Bald eagles that have nested tend to stay on or
near their nesting localities year round food is available and the
weather tolerable. Bald eagles from the northern states usually
migrate in winter, going south as far as necessary to find adequate
food and shelter.
Population Areas : Most of the places in North America