15+ Interesting Facts About Bald Eagles

  1. The bald eagle is the only sea eagle endemic to North America. These birds are present in the contiguous USA, northern Mexico, and most of Canada and Alaska.
  2. Bald eagles have 8 times better eyesight and 5 times more nerves in the retina of their eyes than that of humans. These eagles can also see UV light and spot a fish swimming beneath the water. (Source)
  3. Bald eagles became the national symbol of the USA in 1782. There were more than 100,000 nesting birds in the USA at that time. But their numbers reduced to just 417 nesting pairs by the mid-1960s thanks to hunting and pesticide DDT. More than 120,000 eagles lost their lives only in Alaska between 1917 and 1953. Ban on hunting and DDT by 1972 improved this situation and resulted in the removal of bald eagles from the list of endangered species in 2007. (Source)
  4. There are two subspecies of bald eagles. The northern bald eagle is the larger subspecies, present in Canada, Alaska, and the northern USA. The southern subspecies is in the Southern USA and Baja California.
  5. Fish is the primary food of bald eagles. They also eat waterfowl and small mammals
    Bald eagle on whale's carcass
    Fish and other sea animals are the main diet of bald eagles

  6. The eagle is known as bald not due to the absence of hairs but due to the white-colored feathers on its head.
  7. The largest nest ever built by any bird belongs to a bald eagle. A nest in Florida was 2.9 m wide, 6.1 m deep, and weighed slightly less than 3 tons (2,722 kg). On average, bald eagles build nests that are 1.5-1.8 m wide and 0.7 to 1.2 m tall. (Source)
  8. Several human activities are causing the decline of the bald eagle population. These include hunting, lead poisoning of animals they eat, and wind farms.
  9. Female bald eagles are larger than males. Females can grow up to 108 cm (43 inches) in length with a wingspan of 2.5 meters (8 ft.). Males generally grow up to 90 cm (36 in) long, having a wingspan of 2 m (6.6 ft).
  10. These birds are either residents or partially migratory. The eagles along the Pacific, Atlantic, and Gulf coasts reside in the same area yearlong. Others in cold locations move towards south or coastal areas during the winters.
  11. The average lifespan for bald eagles in the wild is between 20 to 30 years. They can live longer in captivity.
  12. It is hard to observe the activities of bald eagles because they are sensitive to human presence. Due to this reason, eagle nest cameras are in use to get information about the nesting activities of these eagles.
  13. The voice of the bald eagle is like a laugh. Therefore, the screech of a red-tailed hawk replaces the bald eagle's cry in Hollywood movies. (Source)
  14. Bald eagles build their nests near coastlines, rivers, or lakes. They select the tallest trees, top of cliffs, or other higher grounds as their nest-building location. Bald eagles usually use the same nest for years or decades and continuously strengthen them by adding new sticks.
  15. There are very few predators of adult bald eagles. The eggs and young bald eagles become easy prey to gulls, crows, wolverines, owls, hawks, arctic foxes, black bears, etc.
  16. Bald eagles usually mate for life. Sometimes, a male may mate with two females simultaneously. The pair indulges in various flight acrobats during mating season. (Source)
  17. A unique feature of bald eagles is their swimming. It can cover a long distance while swimming. (Source)


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