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Eagle Facts

Bald Eagle - Less than one year old

Bald Eagle - 1-2 years old

Bald Eagle - 2-3 years old

Bald Eagle - 3-4 years old

Bald Eagle - 4-5 years old

Bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) was removed from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants on June 28, 2007. 

In 1963, there were only about 400 breeding pairs of eagles. Today, there are an estimated 9,789 breeding pairs. 

The bald eagle became the National emblem in 1782 when the great seal of the United States was adopted. 

Both male and female adult bald eagles have a blackish-brown back and breast; a white head, neck, and tail; and yellow feet and bill.

Juvenile bald eagles are a mixture of brown and white and reach full maturity in four to five years.

The female bald eagle is 35 to 37 inches, slightly larger than the male.

Eagle wingspan ranges from 72 to 90 inches. 

Weigh around 10 - 14 pounds.

Lifting power is about 4 pounds.

All eagles are renowned for their excellent eyesight.

Bald eagles can fly to an altitude of 10,000 feet. During level flight, they can achieve speeds of about 30 to 35 mph.

Eagle bones are light because they are hollow. 

Bald eagles have 7,000 feathers. 

Eagles molt in patches, taking almost half a year to replace feathers, starting with the head and working downward.

Wild bald eagles may live as long as thirty years.

Dine on mainly fish, but will take advantage of carrion and sometimes hunt waterfowl.

The bald eagle is a strong swimmer, but if the water is very cold it could be overcome by hypothermia.

Their hunting area varies from 1,700 to 10,000 acres. Home ranges are smaller where food is present in great quantity. 

Nests are built in large trees near rivers or coasts. 

An eagle reaches sexual maturity at around four or five years of age.

Once paired, bald eagles remain together until one dies. 

Bald eagles lay from one to three eggs. 

The 35 days of incubation duties are shared by both male and female. Young can fly after 10-12 weeks.

Eagle nesting cycle is about 20 weeks.

Bald eagles in southern states and on the coasts may be resident (they do not migrate). 

Bald eagles come to Wolf Lodge Bay from Interior Alaska and Canada. 

When the kokanee numbers decline, most eagles will go farther south to states with large lakes and rivers that don’t freeze and have an abundant supply of fish (southern Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, California). 

Main causes of death to eagles include: fatal gunshot wounds, electrocution, poisoning, collisions with vehicles, and starvation. 


Last updated: 11-15-2013