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ecoRidge | all galleries >> Endangered Species Mandalas >> Imperiled Species Mandalas >> Birds > eagleb1875_Coming Together_Bald Eagle
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eagleb1875_Coming Together_Bald Eagle

Bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)

Eagles, Kites & Hawks Family (Accipitridae)
Bald eagle, our national symbol, is a large raptor, reaching over 3 feet long, with a 6-8 foot wingspan. Head and neck are white with a large hooked yellow bill. Tail is white and broad. Rest of body dark brown. Eyes, legs, and feet are yellow. Wings are broad and rounded. Sexes are similar, with the female being slightly larger. Immature has a dark bill, eyes, and dark body with varying amounts of white in the body. Adult plumage obtained gradually in four years. Call includes a high pitched kleek, kik, ik, ik and kak, kak, kak. Breeds during the winter in Florida. Pair bonds are long-term. Lays 2 eggs in huge stick nest, lined with finer material, and incubates them for 35 days. Young leave nest after 3 months. Many migrate up north during the summer. Soars on thermals. Preys primarily upon fish and waterfowl, but also on dead, injured, or live animals. Snatches fish from water with its large talons. Found near open water and marshes where fish and waterfowl are abundant. Life expectancy in wild is 40 years. It was affected by DDT use, which made the egg shells soft and prone to breakage, among other things; thus, was once at risk of extinction. Recently delisted federally and by the state of Florida as populations increase, but still protected under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the state of Florida’s new Bald Eagle Rule. In the SE US, still listed in LA, MS, and SC as endangered; in GA, NC, TX and VA as threatened; in AL as a state protected species; and in as TN species of special concern.

Copyright Brett Miley


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