The Bald Eagle: Information And Facts
Steps have been taken to safeguard the American national symbol when it was threatened with extinction. Learn about the Bald Eagle.
Considered the most regal bird in the sky, Eagles are large diurnal predatory birds. They have keen vision, great strength and great powers of flight. Related to the kite, hawk, and falcon they can be found throughout the world.
The American eagle or bald eagle which is also known by the name of white headed eagle is the United States emblem and America's national bird. The United States Government took steps to safeguard one prominent non-migratory species when in 1940 congress became convinced that the American national symbol was threatened with extinction and pass the Bald Eagle Protection Act. This law has twice been strengthened by amendments, most recently in 1972 after Wyoming ranchers were caught poisoning eagles and shooting them from helicopters.
Starting in 1966, the Endangered Species Acts extended the principle embodied in the Bald Eagle Act to all species that could be demonstrated to be in jeopardy. The bald eagle is just now regaining in numbers. Other family members of the bald eagle are southern and northern bald eagles and golden or mountain eagles. Eagles usually eat fish, sometimes carrion. The tremendous size and white heads of the bald eagle are distinguishing characteristics in adults. Immatures have white areas in the inner under wing.
The bald eagle weighs approximately nine pounds and is between 30 and 40 inches long. The iris of the bald eagles eye is white, over which is a prominence, covered with a yellow skin. The birds bill is yellow with the sear of the same color. The bald eagles legs and feet are yellow ending in razor sharp black. The head feathers and part of the neck are white, as is the tail. All the rest of the bald eagles body and wings are brown. Though it is an eagle of a small size compared to some in the eagle family, the bald eagle has great strength and spirit, preying from time to time on larger game such as pigs, lambs and fawns. The bald eagle is normally associated with areas near lakes, rivers and coast lines.
Bald eagles are known to make their nest near the sear or a large rivers and usually on old dead pine or cypress trees. Once they have nested in one place they tend to continue building annually on the same tree, until it falls. Though the bald eagle is a formidable foe to all birds, often they will allow them to breed near his royal nest without molestation. This is particularly true of the fishing and other Hawks which all make their nest on high trees. Amazingly in some places these birds are so near one another that they appear like a rookery. Called the bald eagle both in Virginia, the Carolinas and many other parts of the country, this birds head is as much feathered as the other parts of his body. Both the cock and hen have white heads, although other parts of their body may differ a little from one another.