Saturday, September 03, 2005

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) Title: Bald Eagle, Alternative Title: Haliaeetus leucocephalus, Creator: Coleman, Phil, Source: DI-Gulkana "04 012, Publisher: (none), Contributor: ASSISTANT REGIONAL DIRECTOR-EXTERNAL AFFAIRS, Language: EN - ENGLISH, Rights: (public domain), Audience: (general), Subject: Birds, Raptors, Birds of Prey, Bald Eagles, Alaska.

The bald eagle displays many outstanding characteristics - exceptional vision, a striking appearance, and a commanding presence.

Sadly, by the later half of the 20th century, the bald eagle was classified as an endangered species. This, however, is a case with positive results. Through the diligent efforts of wildlife biologists and a concerned public the bald eagle population is coming back and is no longer on the federal endangered list

The bald eagle can be found in small concentrations throughout the U.S., particularly near sizeable bodies of water, natural and man-made. Some of the largest populations in North America are in Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, Canada, the Upper Great Lakes region, and Florida.

Creator: Coleman, Phil, Source: DI-Gulkana

The adult bald eagle is one of the most easily recognized species of wildlife. It has snow white feathers covering its head down to the neck area. The tail feathers of the mature bald eagle are also white. The body color is very dark brown, almost black. Yellow eyes, beak, and feet accent the bird’s appearance as we see in rhis example. The white of the head and tail distinguish the fully mature eagle from immature birds of the species. Young eagles do not have this appearance until they reach the age of five or six years.

The sexes are alike in appearance. The voice of the bald eagle has been described as a high-pitched, squeaky cackle or chatter. The eagle is one of the largest birds in the raptor (bird of prey) or Accipitridae family. It is generally 34 to 43 inches long, weighs 10 to 12 pounds (females are the heavier of the sexes) and has a wingspan of six to seven and a half feet.

At a Glance: Mating: Monogamous, pairs for life. Peak Breeding Activity: Early February through March. Incubation Period: 35 days on average, February through April. Clutch Size: Usually two eggs; with a range of one to three. Young are Hatched: Peak hatching occurs in mid-April. Young: Altricial (helpless and dependent on the parents). They leave the nest at about 10- 13 weeks. Number of Broods per Year: 1; however, if a nest is destroyed, some pairs will “recycle” and initiate a second nest within the same year.
Adult Weight: Males - 10 pounds; Females - 12 pounds. Adult Length: 34-43 inches, including the tail. Adult Wingspan: Between 6 1/2 and 7 feet. Life Expectancy: 15-20 years in the wild. Migration Patterns: Adults are generally yearround residents; immature birds sometimes migrate during spring and fall. Feeding Periods: Anytime during daylight hours. Typical Foods: Mostly fish, will also feed upon waterfowl, small mammals, and carrion.

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