Bald Eagles

Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)
(Hundred+ Thumbnails at Bottom)


The Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) can have a wingspan of up to 8 feet and can live up to 30 years in the wild. They become mature (white head and tail) in 4 or 5 years. Prior to that, it can have varying amounts of white and brown coloration, depending on age. Females are about 25 percent larger than males. Bald Eagles can weigh between 6 and 15 pounds. They build nests that they may add to each year that can weigh up to 2,000 pounds.
Bald Eagles are very, very cool!


Bald Eagles are oportunistic eaters, feeding on birds, small mammals, carrion and, their favorite food - fish. Bald Eagles are believed to mate for life, although, if a mate dies or after several unsuccessful breeding attempts, a new mate may be chosen. They may have as many as three babies in a season, but fledging even one offspring in a season is considered a success.

 

 

The Bald Eagle is making a recovery from the impacts of DDT use in the mid 1900's. Their ability to absorb calcium caused egg shells to become too weak to produce young birds. The population of Bald Eagles during colonial times was thought to be as high as 500,000. During the 1950's there were only 412 nesting pairs in the lower 48 states. By the year 2000, there were over 10,000 nesting pairs. 

This is sort of the sampler platter of Bald Eagles of different ages. The upper left bird is a sub-adult (about 3-4 years old). It is beginning to show a darker body with some white in the head and tail. The beak is turning yellow. The middle bird (stealing the fish) appears to be a young adult. The bottom bird is about a year and a half old. It has a dark bill, white belly and has several of the longer primary feathers left in the wings that are old, juvenile-plumage feathers. This is the standard molting pattern for these birds.



Below is a series of a Bald Eagle catching a fish

 

   
   

 Three Bald Eagles (2 sub-adults and an adult) fighting over a fish  

 
 
 

 

                                                                                          

 

                                                                                          

   

                                                                    

   

                                                                    

   

                                                                   

   

                                                                    

   

                                                                    

   

                                                                    

   

                                                                    

   

                                                                    

   

                                                                     

   

                                                                    

   

                                                                    

   

                                                                    

   

                                                                   

   

                                                                             

   


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