Having lived in rural western New York and Pennsylvania, eagle sightings, though rare, were not unheard of. However, visiting Alaska the past several summers, and now as a resident, eagle sightings are a much more regular occurrence. They are still a wonder to me though, and I marvel at these spectacular birds every time I get the chance to see them.
As with most things, I am eager to learn more about these birds and in my spare time have been brushing up on them. Did you know?….
o The bald eagle’s range includes most of Canada and Alaska, all of the contiguous United States, and down into northern Mexico.
o They are typically found near large bodies of open water with an abundant food supply and old-growth trees for nesting.
o The bald eagle is an opportunistic feeder which subsists mainly on fish, which it swoops down and snatches from the water with its talons. (an awe-inspiring sight, I might add!)
o Their typical wingspan is between 6 – 7½ ft.
o They reach sexual maturity at the age of four to five years.
o Both sexes are identical in plumage, mainly brown with a white head and tail. Juveniles are a mottled brown and white.
o Females are about 25 percent larger than males.
o Bald eagles mate for life. However, if one member of a pair dies or disappears, the survivor will choose a new mate
o They build the largest nest of any North American bird and the largest tree nests ever recorded for any animal species - up to 13 ft. deep, 8.2 ft. wide, and over a ton in weight.
o Average lifespan in the wild is around 20 years, with the oldest confirmed one having been 38 years old
o The bald eagle is Both the national bird and national animal of the United States of America.