Bald eagle

Species profile

Name: the bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) is a spectacular bird of prey found in North America.

Appearance: bald eagles are easy to spot thanks to their large white heads, bright yellow bills and legs, and brown bodies, wings, and tails. Their eyes are also yellow. Immature birds have brown heads, bodies, and wings with streaks of white for the first five years of their lives. When flying, bald eagles hold their wings flat.

Size: one of the largest raptors in North America, second only to the California Condor, they have wingspans of up to 2.3 metres.

Diet: they mostly eat fish – either by directly foraging or by stealing prey from other raptors such as ospreys. They also eat mammals, waterfowl, and other smaller birds, and even reptiles occasionally. Their diet varies based on their location.

Did you know: bald eagles are massive birds, and create equally massive nests. Their nests are usually perched on the tallest object around with a direct view of the water, where they forage. According to Cornell University, the largest bald eagle nest ever recorded was in St. Petersburg, Florida. It was 2.9 meters in diameter and 6.1 meters tall. Another famous nest weighed two tonnes and was in use for over 34 years!

Location: bald eagles are found in Alaska, Canada, and the entire United States, all the way to Northern Mexico.

Where to see bald eagles

According to reports submitted to WildSide, you can see bald eagles in the following places:

Place Chance to see User rating No. reports
Sonoma Coast
United States
very low
very good

Photo credit: ChristianGeorg under a Creative Commons licence from Pixabay

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