Bald Eagle

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Bald Eagle
Conservation status: Lower risk (lc)
Missing image

Scientific classification
Species:H. leucocephalus
Binomial name
Haliaeetus leucocephalus
(Linnaeus, 1766)

The bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) is a bird of prey indigenous to North America, and is the national symbol of the United States. The species was on the brink of extinction late in the 20th century but has largely recovered and now has a stable population.

The bird gets its English and scientific names from the distinctive white color of the adult's head feathers. Baeld is the Old English word for white; Haliaeetus is the New Latin for sea eagle, from Greek haliaetos, and leucocephalus is the Greek for white head, from leukos (white) and kephale (head).

An immature bird has speckled brown feathers all over, the distinctive head and body plumage arriving 2–3 years later, before sexual maturity. Adult females have a wingspan of approximately 2.1 meters (7 feet); adult males have a wingspan of 2 meters (6 feet, 6 inches). Adult females weigh approximately 5.8 kg (12.8 lb), males weigh 4.1 kg (9 lb).

Bald eagles are powerful fliers, and ride thermal convection currents to range far.

Bald eagles are sexually mature at 4 or 5 years of age. Mated pairs produce between one and three eggs per year, but it is rare for all three chicks to successfully fledge. Third chicks are sometimes removed from nests to use in reintroduction programs in areas where the species has died out.

In such programs, the birds are raised in boxes, on platforms in the tree canopy, and fed in such a way that they cannot see the person supplying their food, until they are old enough to fly and find their own food.

Bald eagles which are old enough to nest often return to the area in which they were raised. They are more social than many other raptor species: an adult bald eagle looking for a nesting site is more likely to select a location that contains other immature eagles than one with no eagle population.

The bald eagle's diet is varied, including fish, smaller birds, rodents, and sometimes food scavenged or stolen from campsites and picnics.

This species has occurred as a vagrant once in Ireland. The exhausted specimen was discovered by a national parks worker in a northern heath. Presumably, a storm blew it out to sea, and the bird struggled across the Atlantic Ocean.


Missing image
Bald Eagle

External link

de:Weikopfseeadler fr:Pygargue tte blanche nl:Amerikaanse zeearend ja:ハクトウワシ pl:Bielik amerykański


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