Bald eagles are carnivorous birds found in North America. They have become famous as being the national bird of the United States. Here are a few bald eagle facts you should know about these gorgeous prey birds.
Some basic bald eagle facts
Bald eagles, known as Haliaeetus leucocephalus for scientists is a relatively big prey bird. Its body is 34 to 43 in with a wingspan of 6 to 8 ft. It weights between 6.5 and 14 lbs. Its life expectancy in the wild is up to 28 years. Bald eagles are not currently on the endangered species list and haven’t been since 2007.
The bald eagle with its snowy-feathered head and white tail is really difficult to miss. I mean you must recognize it. For the fact that it’s the national bird of the US, if not for any other reason. Stilt, it has almost become extinct. Fora long time, bald eagles were hunted for sport and in order to conserve fish population. Pesticides also killed a great deal of these and other birds. DDT for example is one of the chemicals that add up in fish. Fish is the primary food of bald eagles. These chemicals actually prevent the birds to properly reproduce by weakening the eggshell. Using DDT was forbidden in 1972, so the number of bald eagles has significantly increased ever since. Thanks to this bald eagles are today on the least concern list.
Natural Habitat and Food
Despite the fact that their numbers have developed in quite a bit of their range, bald eagles stay most widely spread in Alaska and Canada. These birds use their claws to catch fish. They can dive at a speed as high as 100 mph to catch fish. Moreover, they have been known to also steal the prey of other animals. This is the reason why Ben Franklin argued against making these animals national symbol of the US. They live close to the water where they can get enough fish. In some cases up to 4000 eagles can gather on the shore to catch some fish. They also eat small animals, mostly mammals.
Here is one of the most fascinating bald eagle facts: these birds seem to mate for life. The couple builds one of their world’s biggest nest, it can be 10 feet across and 20 deep. Eggs are laid every year. The youngsters are dark coloured and it takes about five years to get those white feathers the adults have. They are big travelers. Bald eagles from California have shown up in Alaska and some from Florida went to Michigan. Those are some miles to cover.