The bald eagle is a national symbol for its strength and majestic beauty. They are found throughout most of North America, from Alaska and Canada to northern Mexico. America is also home to the golden eagle that lives throughout much of the northern hemisphere. But the bald eagle is only found in North America. About half of the 70,000 bald eagles live in Alaska. They flourish here in part because of the salmon. Dead or dying fish are an important food source for all bald eagles.
What are Some Interesting Facts About Bald Eagles?
1. What do bald eagles eat? Bald eagles don’t always swoop down to grab fish out of the water. They have perfected the art of stealing fish from other birds, chasing them down until they drop their prey. They will also snack on ducks, gulls, crabs, amphibians, rabbits and more-they will scavenge through dumpsters.
2. Bald eagles are not really bald. Their heads have bright white plumage that contrasts with their dark body feathers, giving them a “bald” look.
3. How can you tell if a bald eagle is a male or female. For most birds of prey, the females are larger than males. The males weigh about 25 percent less than their female counterpart. Females might be bigger because they play a bigger part in arranging nesting material and spend more time incubating the eggs. Their larger size may intimidate potential egg thieves.
4. Do bald eagles mate for life. They are romantic birds in that they will stay with their mate for life. They also share parenting duties. They both take turns incubating eggs and feeding their young.
5. How long do bald eagles live? The fact that they can live for decades makes their romantic relationship even more impressive. The longest living wild eagle lived for 38 years.
6. How do bald eagles build their nests? They build huge nests high in treetops. The male and females will work together which helps them grow closer together. The framework of sticks is lined with softer stuff like grass and feathers. If the nest holds up during the breeding season, they will use it the following year. The average size of a nest is 2-4 feet deep and 4-5 feet wide.
7. Bald eagles eye view. Bald eagles have a see-through eyelid that allows them to protect their eyes while their main eyelids remain open. This membrane also helps moisten and clean their eyes. They also have a wider field of vision than people do. They can also see ultraviolet light, making the expression “eagle eye” very accurate.
8. Bald eagle wings. You can identify a bald eagle by looking to see how flat their wings are when they fly. Their wings are almost completely flat. Turkey vultures hold their wings up in a shallow V shape and many large hawks fly with slightly raised wings.
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