Bald Eagle

Haliaeetus leucocephalus

Order

FALCONIFORMES

Family

Kites, Eagles and Hawks (Accipitridae)

Code 4

BAEA

Code 6

HALLEU

ITIS

Egg Color:

Dull white to light blue, nest stained



Number of Eggs:

2



Incubation Days:

35



Egg Incubator:

Both sexes



Nest Location:

30 - 60 feet above ground.



Nest Material:

Deeply lined with fine material.



Migration:

Migratory



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General

Bald Eagle: Large, hawk-like bird with dark brown body and white head and tail. Heavy bill, legs, feet, and eyes are yellow. Sexes are similar. Juvenile is dark brown with variable white mottling on wings and tail for the first four years of life.

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.

Breeding and Nesting

Bald Eagle: Builds a huge stick nest (sometimes weighing over 1 ton), usually about 6 feet in diameter and more than 6 feet tall, near the top of large tree near a river or lake. Female lays two dull white to light blue eggs. Both parents incubate eggs for 35 days. Young grow quickly and leave the nest between 10 and 12 weeks of age.

Foraging and Feeding

Bald Eagle: Feeds primarily on fish, which they catch themselves, find dead, or steal from other birds such as ospreys; also feeds on carrion or live prey including waterfowl, other birds, turtles, and rabbits. Road-killed deer are a favorite and leads to many eagles being hit by cars.

Vocalization

Bald Eagle: Makes shrill, high- pitched, and twittering calls.

Similar Species

Bald Eagle: Golden Eagle has less massive bill, less blotchy white on underwings and underparts, and has golden feathers on head. Steller's Eagle has a long, wedge-shaped white tail and white thighs and shoulders.

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