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Bald Eagle Fact Sheet

  • Latin Name

    Haliaeetus leucocephalus
  • Class

  • Order

  • Range

    Canada to Mexico

  • Status

    Not threatened. Excessive hunting and DDT pollution nearly rendered the bald eagle extinct in the contiguous United States, but federal protection and conservation programs have helped the species rebound from endangered status.

  • Habitat

    Lakes, rivers and coastal areas

  • Niche

    The bald eagle prefers fish but will also prey on birds and small mammals. In addition to being a successful hunter, the species will also steal prey from other predatory birds and mammals.

  • Life History

    The bald eagle builds its nests from sticks at the top of trees that can exceed 100 feet in height. The bird returns to the same nest year after year; as new sticks are added on, the nests can approach eight feet in height and weigh more than a ton. Females typically lay two eggs, and incubation lasts five-six weeks. After hatching, both males and females hunt for food to bring back to the nest to feed chicks.

  • Special Adaptations

    • The bald eagle's sharp eyesight enables it to spot prey hundreds of feet below while flying.
    • The species' strong talons and sharp beak enable it to firmly grasp and tear the fish, birds and mammals it catches.


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