START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good
anonymous Eagle July 18, 2007 11:54 AM

   The bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), our national bird, is the only eagle unique to North America. The bald eagle's scientific name signifies a sea (halo) eagle (aeetos) with a white (leukos) head. At one time, the word "bald" meant "white," not hairless. Bald eagles are found over most of North America, from Alaska and Canada to northern Mexico. About half of the world's 70,000 bald eagles live in Alaska. Combined with British Columbia's population of about 20,000, the northwest coast of North America is by far their greatest stronghold for bald eagles. They flourish here in part because of the salmon. Dead or dying fish are an important food source for all bald eagles  [report anonymous abuse]
anonymous  July 18, 2007 11:54 AM

bald eagle landing on perch  [report anonymous abuse]
anonymous  July 18, 2007 11:55 AM

 Eagles are a member of the Accipitridae family, which also includes hawks, kites, and old-world vultures.
   Scientists loosely divide eagles into four groups based on their physical characteristics and behavior. The bald eagle is a sea or fish eagle.

   There are two subspecies of bald eagles. The "southern" bald eagle, Haliaeetus leucocephalus leucocephalus, is found in the gulf states from Texas and Baja California across to South Carolina and Florida, south of 40 degrees north latitude. The "northern" bald eagle, Haliaeetus leucocephalus alascanus, is found north of 40 degrees north latitude across the entire continent. The largest number of northern bald eagles are in the Northwest, especially in Alaska. The "northern" bald eagle is slightly larger than the "southern" bald eagle. Studies have shown that "northern" bald eagles fly into the southern states and Mexico, and the "southern" bald eagles fly north into Canada. Because of these finding, the subspecies of "northern" and "southern" bald eagles has been discontinued in recent literature.
 [report anonymous abuse]
anonymous  July 18, 2007 11:57 AM

eaglesBald Eagle(Haliaeetus leucocephalus)
Bald Eagle
(Haliaeetus leucocephalus)
Scientific classificationKingdom:Animalia
Savigny, 1809Species

Haliaeetus albicilla
Haliaeetus leucocephalus
Haliaeetus pelagicus
Haliaeetus vocifer
Haliaeetus leucogaster
Haliaeetus sanfordi
Haliaeetus vociferoides
Haliaeetus leucoryphus

 [report anonymous abuse]
anonymous  July 18, 2007 11:58 AM

bald-eaglebirdEagle, Large predatory bird be longing to the Hawk family, found in all parts of the world. Eagles are similar to the buzzard Hawks, but they are larger both in length and wing span (up to seven a half feet) and their beaks on nearly as long as there head.

They are solitary birds, said to mate for life. The nest is called an aerie, made of twigs and sticks is built at a vantage point high in a tree or on a cliff in a permanent feeding territory and is added to it year after year . The eaglets (usually two) do not develop adult markings until the third year, when they leave parental protection and seek their own mates and territories.

The American bald eagle Is found it in all parts of North America near water and feeds chiefly on dead fish (sometimes robbing the osprey's catch) and rodents. The plumage is dark brown white head, neck, and tail. The northern species (chiefly found in Canada) is slightly larger than the southern, which ranges throughout the United States.

The mountain Eagle or the Golden Eagle is widespread in the northern hemisphere, in the United States and found mostly in the West. In Asia it is trained to hunt small gain. The adult is sooty brown with tawny head and neck feathers; unlike those of the bald eagle, its legs are feathered to the toes.

The gray and steller sea Eagles are native to colder areas of the northern hemisphere , the king or imperial eagle to South Europe and Asia, and the rare monkey eating Eagle to the Philippines. The harpy or harpy eagle , of Central and South America the largest (38 in. long) of the hawks , eats macaws and the sloth. In Greek myth it was called the winged monster, and the "winged wolf " by Aztecs .

 [report anonymous abuse]
anonymous  July 18, 2007 12:00 PM

A bald eagle egg is slightly smaller than a domestic goose egg. The chick will measure 4 to 5 inches at hatching and weigh only a matter of ounces.

Bald eagles incubate their eggs for about 35 days. They begin incubation as soon as the first egg is laid. The second egg usually appears within 36 to 72 hours after the first. Occasionally a clutch of 3 eggs will be produced.

Eagle chicks are fed a steady diet of fish, occasionally supplemented by water fowl (ducks, geese) or water birds (gulls, cormorants). About 85% of a chick's diet will typically consist of fish such as carp, white sucker, shad, bullhead and sunfish. The adults capture and tear the fish into small strips, offering them to the chicks. The chicks snatch the food from the adult's beak and swallow it whole. An eagle chick will eat as much as it can at a single feeding, storing food in its crop. The crop, an organ located near the base of the bird's neck, will enlarge as it fills, resembling a golf ball.

The male does most of the hunting and scavenging during the early weeks of the chick's life. The female does the majority of the feeding and brooding.

The male will often eat the head of the fish he catches and then bring the remainder to the nest. The male will brood and feed the chick when the female is off the nest. She will leave to stretch, defecate, bathe, preen and hunt on her own.

The male eagle is smaller than the female. He weighs about 10 lbs. and the female tips the scales at about 14 lbs. Being smaller, he is slightly quicker and more agile, giving him an advantage in catching prey. She, being larger, is better able to incubate the eggs and brood the young chicks, using her body to shelter her offspring from cold, soaking rains or hot sun. The male's wingspan is a little more than 6 feet from wing tip to wing tip, the female's is between 6.5 and 7 feet.

The chicks will be nearly full grown at 9 weeks of age. They will add some weight as they develop their flight muscles after they leave the nest. Their wingspan will be as large or slightly larger than the adults at this time.

Once most of their wing and tail feathers are developed, the eaglets can finally leave the nest. First flights usually occur at 9 or 10 weeks of age and are preceded by vigorous exercising and flapping. When a male and female are in the same nest, the male may fledge first. The chick will typically lift off of the nest by facing into the prevailing winds and flapping. Sometimes the adults will force the eaglets to fly.

Often the first flight will be to the nearest branch above the nest. When chicks leave the nest they usually glide to a nearby tree or stump, returning to the nest tree frequently and continuing to be fed by the adults. At first the eaglets have difficulty landing on tree limbs. However, if they land on the ground, they need open space to flap their wings to become airborne.

While eaglets improve their landing and flying skills, they depend on their parents for food. The adults will bring food to where the eaglets are perched. Eaglets will stay close to the nest and nest tree during the first few weeks after fledging.

Within one month after fledging, eaglets will soar and drift over the river.

The eaglets are poor hunters and may scavenge on dead prey. As the chicks develop their flight skills they harass the adults and try to take fish from them. This behavior helps eaglets learn to forage and be independent and will last into September. At 17 to 23 weeks of age, the bond between the adults and their young fades and the adults no longer tolerate harassment from their offspring. This is time when the young eagles leave the territory, following the prevailing winds to more northerly shorelines and water bodies in search of good feeding grounds.

Eagles don't migrate in the sense that robins and bluebirds do. Eagles only travel as far as they have to in order to find food. This is particularly true of adult eagles with established territories. Adults will stay on their territory (roughly 1 - 6 square miles) year round as long as there is open water nearby where they can hunt. Should a severe winter limit the food supply, eagles will move as far south as necessary to find open water and suitable feeding grounds.

The young eagle will spend the next 4 years of its life wandering across eastern North America looking for summering and wintering areas where food is accessible. The mortality rate for eagles during their first year of life is greater than 50%, but onc  [report anonymous abuse]

anonymous  July 18, 2007 12:03 PM

 [report anonymous abuse]
anonymous  July 18, 2007 12:04 PM

Bald Eagles Zoom In 2

Highways in the Sky
Photograph by Norbert Rosing

On wings spanning seven feet (two meters), a bald eagle comes in for a landing. Flight can be swift: In Wyoming one migrating adult was clocked at 89 miles (140 kilometers) an hour. On long-distance migrations, the birds use thermals, rising bodies of warm air that let them coast with minimal wing flapping, conserving energy.
 [report anonymous abuse]
anonymous  July 18, 2007 12:04 PM

Bald Eagles Zoom In 3

Creatures of Habit
Photograph by Norbert Rosing

Practicing fastidious oral hygiene, an eagle wipes its beak on driftwood after a fish meal in Homer, Alaska. Besides the wintering eagles, the town also hosts the Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival in May, featuring as many as 25 species of migratory birds.
 [report anonymous abuse]
anonymous  July 18, 2007 12:05 PM

Bald Eagles Zoom In 1

Three’s Company
Photograph by Norbert Rosing

A trio of bald eagles gathers to hunt for spawning chum salmon in the Chilkat River near Haines, Alaska. Each fall as many as 4,000 eagles congregate to feast on the fish in the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve. Also known as the Valley of the Eagles, the area includes Klukwan, the “mother village” of the Tlingit people, who have revered bald eagles for centuries.
 [report anonymous abuse]
anonymous  July 18, 2007 12:05 PM

Bald Eagles Zoom In 5  [report anonymous abuse]
anonymous  July 18, 2007 12:07 PM

Bald Eagle Haliaeetus leucocephalus
Photo: A handsome bald eagle
 [report anonymous abuse]
anonymous  July 18, 2007 12:07 PM

Type: Bird
Diet: Carnivore
Average lifespan in the wild: Up to 28 years
Size: Body, 34 to 43 in (86 to 109 cm); Wingspan, 6 to 8 ft (1.8 to 2.4 m)
Weight: 6.5 to 14 lbs (3 to 6.5 kg)
Did you know? The largest bald eagle nest on record was 9.5 feet (3 meters) wide and 20 feet (6 meters) high. It weighed more than two tons.
Protection status: Threatened
Size relative to a 6-ft (2-m) man:
Illustration of the animal's relative size
 [report anonymous abuse]
anonymous  July 18, 2007 12:08 PM

The bald eagle, with its snowy-feathered (not bald) head and white tail, is the proud national bird symbol of the United States—yet the bird was nearly wiped out there. For many decades, bald eagles were hunted for sport and for the "protection" of fishing grounds. Pesticides like DDT also wreaked havoc on eagles and other birds. These chemicals collect in fish, which make up most of the eagle's diet. They weaken the bird's eggshells and severely limited their ability to reproduce. Since DDT use was heavily restricted in 1972, eagle numbers have rebounded significantly and have been aided by reintroduction programs. The result is a wildlife success story—the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has upgraded the birds from endangered to threatened.

Though their numbers have grown in much of their range, bald eagles remain most abundant in Alaska and Canada. These powerful birds of prey use their talons to fish, but they get many of their meals by scavenging carrion or stealing the kills of other animals. (Such thievery famously prompted Ben Franklin to argue against the bird's nomination as the United State's national symbol.) They live near water and favor coasts and lakes where fish are plentiful, though they will also snare and eat small mammals.

Bald eagles are believed to mate for life. A pair constructs an enormous stick nest—one of the bird-world's biggest—high above the ground and tends to a pair of eggs each year. Immature eagles are dark, and until they are about five years old, they lack the distinctive white markings that make their parents so easy to identify. Young eagles roam great distances. Florida birds have been spotted in Michigan, and California eagles have traveled all the way to Alaska.

 [report anonymous abuse]
anonymous  July 18, 2007 12:10 PM

Steller's Sea Eagle Haliaeetus pelagicus
Photo: Steller's sea eagle on snow spreading wings
 [report anonymous abuse]
anonymous  July 18, 2007 12:11 PM

Type: Bird
Diet: Carnivore
Size: Wingspan, up to 8 ft (2.5 m)
Weight: 13 to 20 lbs (6 to 9 kg)
Did you know? The Steller’s sea eagle is considered the most powerful and aggressive of its cousins, the bald eagle and the white-tailed sea eagle.
Size relative to a 6-ft (2-m) man:
Illustration of the animal's relative size
 [report anonymous abuse]
anonymous  July 18, 2007 12:11 PM

These very large, powerful eagles are also striking in appearance. They are dark but dramatically colored with white tail, shoulders, rump, thighs and forehead.

These eagles are believed to breed only in far eastern Russia, along the coasts and surrounding islands of the Sea of Okhotsk and Bering Sea. They are most common on the Kamchatka Peninsula.

Each winter, many Steller's sea eagles migrate from their breeding grounds to Japan, and a few reach Korea or even farther afield. Other individuals do not migrate, but simply move to open water as winter approaches.

Open water provides these eagles with their main food sources along coastlines and lakes. In their breeding grounds, Steller's sea eagles subsist largely on salmon, and they both hunt and scavenge for this resource. Annual salmon runs provide an enormous bounty and Steller's sea eagle nests are typically located near coasts and rivers where these fish appear en masse.

These birds of prey hunt from a perch or from flight by diving and clutching prey in their talons. They also stand in shallow water or on the ice and grab passing fish when the opportunity arises. Like other eagles, Steller's also steal food from other birds.

In Japan, Steller's sea eagles feast on cod. In addition to fish, they eat crabs, shellfish, squid, small animals, ducks, gulls, and carrion.

Steller's sea eagles do not occur in large numbers, but their populations appear to be stable. Their feathers were once highly prized, but today these magnificent birds are protected throughout their range. They are especially revered in Japan, where they are known as O-washi.

 [report anonymous abuse]
anonymous  July 18, 2007 12:12 PM

Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos
Photo: Golden eagle with a mountain backdrop
 [report anonymous abuse]
anonymous  July 18, 2007 12:13 PM

Type: Bird
Diet: Carnivore
Average lifespan in the wild: 30 years
Size: Body, 33 to 38 in (84 to 97 cm); Wingspan, 6 to 7.5 ft (1.8 to 2.3 m)
Weight: 6 to 15 lbs (3 to 7 kg)
Size relative to a 6-ft (2-m) man:
Illustration of the animal's relative size
 [report anonymous abuse]
anonymous  July 18, 2007 12:13 PM

This powerful eagle is North America's largest bird of prey and the national bird of Mexico. These birds are dark brown, with lighter golden-brown plumage on their heads and necks. They are extremely swift, and can dive upon their quarry at speeds of more than 150 miles (241 kilometers) per hour.

Golden eagles use their speed and sharp talons to snatch up rabbits, marmots, and ground squirrels. They also eat carrion, reptiles, birds, fish, and smaller fare such as large insects. They have even been known to attack full grown deer. Ranchers once killed many of these birds for fear that they would prey on their livestock, but studies showed that the animal's impact was minimal. Today, golden eagles are protected by law.

Golden eagle pairs maintain territories that may be as large as 60 square miles (155 square kilometers). They are monogamous and may remain with their mate for several years or possibly for life. Golden eagles nest in high places including cliffs, trees, or human structures such as telephone poles. They build huge nests to which they may return for several breeding years. Females lay from one to four eggs, and both parents incubate them for 40 to 45 days. Typically, one or two young survive to fledge in about three months.

These majestic birds range from Mexico through much of western North America as far north as Alaska; they also appear in the east but are uncommon. Golden eagles are also found in Asia, northern Africa, and Europe.

Some golden eagles migrate, but others do not—depending on the conditions of their geographic location. Alaskan and Canadian eagles typically fly south in the fall, for example, while birds that live in the western continental U.S. tend to remain in their ranges year-round.
 [report anonymous abuse]
anonymous  July 18, 2007 12:18 PM

Print version

Golden eagle and chick

Golden eagle head profile close-up

Golden eagle with chick on nest

Golden eagle wih chick on nest

Golden eagle
Aquila chrysaetos

The golden eagle is one of the most magnificent birds of prey in the UK.

Body length: 79-88cm, Wingspan: 190-227cm, Weight: 3-6kg. Females are much larger than the males.

Physical Description
Adults are a uniform brown colour with a paler brown head, but juveniles have a white patch on the base of the tail and on the underside of the wings. They have a square tail and fully-feathered legs.

They range across Europe, Asia, N. Africa and N. America. In the UK, they are predominantly found in the Scottish Highlands.

These large raptors prefer mountainous, often treeless, habitats, although they require large trees or rock faces for nesting.

Golden eagles hunt medium-sized mammals, such as rodents, rabbits, hares and young deer. They also hunt birds (particularly grouse), and occasionally feed on reptiles. They often feed on carrion (particularly sheep and lambs).

 [report anonymous abuse]
anonymous  July 18, 2007 12:19 PM

They can remain in the air for hours at a time and have a graceful, soaring flight, with the wing-tips slightly upturned. Golden eagles attain speeds of 128 km/h (80 mph) although they average 48 km/h (30 mph). They are resident birds and do not migrate.

Golden eagles have exceptionally good eyesight, and when prey has been spotted, they dive down to seize and kill the victim with their curved talons. Sometimes, a pair will hunt together, with one bird chasing the prey to exhaustion and then the other swooping in for the kill. Golden eagles mate for life and pairs tend to have territories of up to 56 square km (35 square miles).

A nest up to 2m wide is built of sticks and branches and lined with greenery, and the same nest is often used year after year. The female typically lays two (although sometimes three) eggs asynchronously, which she incubates for 41-45 days. The older chick commonly kills the younger chick, but in years when food is abundant, both chicks may survive. After 65-80 days the chicks fledge, although they may continue to be fed by the parents for a further couple of months.

Conservation status
Golden eagles are not considered to be threatened, even though they have been heavily persecuted in the past. As well as being shot and poisoned by gamekeepers and farmers for the threat they pose to livestock, numbers have been severely affected by pesticides such as DDT. Golden eagles are sensitive to human disturbance and will abandon their nests if harassed. There are about 440 pairs in Scotland and generally just one pair in the Lake District.

Golden eagles are not very vocal but they will sometimes emit a barking call or a twee-o cry.

 [report anonymous abuse]
anonymous  July 18, 2007 12:21 PM

Original image is larger than shown here. DISPLAY FULL IMAGE.  [report anonymous abuse]
anonymous  July 18, 2007 12:21 PM

Display this image ONLY on new window  [report anonymous abuse]
anonymous  July 18, 2007 12:22 PM

Display this image ONLY on new window  [report anonymous abuse]
anonymous  July 18, 2007 12:23 PM

Display this image ONLY on new window  [report anonymous abuse]
anonymous African Crowned Eagle July 18, 2007 12:24 PM

Display this image ONLY on new window  [report anonymous abuse]
anonymous  July 18, 2007 12:24 PM

Display this image ONLY on new window  [report anonymous abuse]
anonymous  July 18, 2007 12:25 PM

Display this image ONLY on new window  [report anonymous abuse]
anonymous  July 18, 2007 12:25 PM

Display this image ONLY on new window  [report anonymous abuse]
anonymous  July 18, 2007 12:26 PM

Display this image ONLY on new window  [report anonymous abuse]
anonymous  July 18, 2007 12:27 PM

Display this image ONLY on new window  [report anonymous abuse]
anonymous Golden Eagle July 18, 2007 12:27 PM

Display this image ONLY on new window  [report anonymous abuse]
anonymous  July 18, 2007 12:28 PM

Original image is larger than shown here. DISPLAY FULL IMAGE.  [report anonymous abuse]
anonymous Chick of a White Tailed Eagle July 18, 2007 12:29 PM

Display this image ONLY on new window  [report anonymous abuse]
anonymous Wedge Tailed Eagle July 18, 2007 12:30 PM

Display this image ONLY on new window  [report anonymous abuse]
 July 20, 2007 9:37 PM

 [ send green star]
  New Topic              Back To Topics Read Code of Conduct


This group:
National Geographics Animal Kingdom
262 Members

View All Topics
New Topic

Track Topic
Mail Preferences