Bald Eagle

Haliaeetus leucocephalus

Order

FALCONIFORMES

Family

Kites, Eagles and Hawks (Accipitridae)

Code 4

BAEA

Code 6

HALLEU

ITIS

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ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Bald Eagle has a large breeding range of 8,590,000 square kilometers that includes much of Alaska, Canada, and many parts of the United States. Birds from northrn populations winter in southern Canada, the United States, and northern Mexico. Although the Bald Eagle's population in the United States declined through the 1960s mostly as a result of very low reproductive success due to DDT pollution, the subsequent cease of DDT use has resulted in a dramatic population increase. The breeding population of the Bald Eagle is now estimated at 300,000, and the species has a conservation rating of Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

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BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Bald Eagle: Large, hawk-like bird, dark brown body and white head, tail. Heavy bill, legs, feet, eyes are yellow. Hunts for fish, which it sometimes steals from ospreys. Eats carrion and crippled or injured squirrels, rabbits, muskrats and waterfowl. Flap-and-glide flight, also soars on thermals.

 

Range and Habitat

Bald Eagle: Breeds from Alaska to Newfoundland and south to the Gulf Coast. Moves south from northern breeding grounds during winters. Preferred habitats include open water areas that support large numbers of waterfowl or fish. Threatened by DDT, shooting, and loss of habitat, in the 1950s there were only 412 nesting pairs in the lower 48 states.

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SONGS AND CALLS

Voice Text

"kleek-kik-ik-ik", "kak-kak-kak"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The Bald Eagle has been the symbol of the United States of America since 1782.
  • At one time, the word “bald” (balde) meant white—not hairless—referring to the white head and upper neck of the adult Bald Eagle.
  • They can live up to 40 years in the wild and even longer in captivity.
  • A group of eagles has many collective nouns, including an "aerie", "convocation", "jubilee", "soar", and "tower" of eagles.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Michael Oberhofer

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

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BIRDS AND BIRDING

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UnderpartsX

Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X