Members of the genus Haliaeetus are large to very large eagles, with long, broad wings and medium to short rounded or wedge-shaped tails. The bill is large, strong and compressed. The legs are short and the toes and talons powerfully developed
, is “all field mark.” Bill yellow, massive. The dark immature has a dusky head and tail and a dark bill. It shows considerable whitish in the wings linings and often on the breast (see overhead pattern). Variable, depending on age.
Listen to the sound of Bald Eagle
Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto
|wingspan min.:||190||cm||wingspan max.:||210||cm|
|size min.:||71||cm||size max.:||96||cm|
|incubation min.:||34||days||incubation max.:||36||days|
|fledging min.:||70||days||fledging max.:||85||days|
wamps in Florida, edges of conifer forest in southeastern Alaska, treeless islands in Aleutians, desert rivers in Arizona. Also winters in some very dry western valleys.
Site is usually in tree, on cliff in West, or on ground on northern islands. Tree nests usually in very tall tree, up to 180′ or more above ground. Nest (built by both sexes) usually a mound of sticks, lined with finer materials; nest may be reused and a
dded to for years, becoming huge. Great Horned Owls sometimes take over nests.
Clutch 2, sometimes 1 -3. White. Incubation is by both parents, 34 -36 days.
Young: At least one parent remains with young almost constantly for first 2 weeks. Both parents bring prey to nest, tearing food into small pieces and feeding it directly to young at first; after 3-
6 weeks, young begin pecking at food dropped in nest. When prey is scarce, only largest young may survive. Age at first flight about 10 -12 weeks.
Feeds heavily on fish. When fish are scarce, may eat large birds, or mammals (jackrabbits, muskrats, others). Sometimes eats turtles, crabs, shellfish, other items. Often feeds on carrion.
Behavior: Sometimes a predator, sometimes a scavenger. Does much hunting by watching fro
m a high perch; also hunts by cruising very low over sea or land, taking prey by surprise. Where fish are abundant (as at spawning runs), may wade in shallow water to pursue them. Sometimes steals fish from Ospreys or other birds.
Video Bald Eagle
copyright: Wayne Hall
Migration: Many southern and coastal adults are permanent residents (as far north as Aleutian Islands). Birds from far northern interior migrate south in winter. Immatures from Florida may migrate far north (even to Canad
a) during their first summer.