Bald Eagle
   
Haliaeetus  leucocephalus
   
SEA  EAGLE
AMERICAN  EAGLE
PIEBALD EAGLE
   
    SCIENTIFIC  CLASSIFICATION
    KINGDOM :              Animal
    SUB KINGDOM :     Metazoa
    PHYLUM :                Chordata                       
    SUB PHYLUM :       Vertebrata                     
    CLASS :                   Aves                              
    ORDER :                  Falconiformes            
    FAMILY :                  Accipitridae                    
    SUB FAMILY :         Buteoninae                           
    GENUS :                  Haliaeetus                   
    SPECIES :               leucocephalus              
    ******************************************************************************************************************************
    to learn about SCIENTIFIC CLASSIFICATION ..
    go to ..
    LINNAEUS SYSTEM OF CLASSIFICATION page
 
" the Lord GOD formed all the birds in the sky "
Genesis 2:19

    HELPFUL INFORMATION


    birds live on every continent of the world  !!!


    birds are vertebrate animals with backbones
    warm blooded
    body temperature
    111 - 140 degrees Fahrenheit
    birds are only animals that have feathers
    all birds lay hard shelled eggs

    there are 9,700 known species of bird worldwide
    more than 1/3 of all known bird species in the world live in central and south America

    largest known bird in the world is the OSTRICH

    smallest known bird in the world is the BEE HUMMINGBIRD

    THE BALD EAGLE is a vertebrate animal
    the bald eagle is a bird
    the bald eagle is a large soaring bird of prey
    THE BALD EAGLE belongs to a family of hawk and hawk-like birds
    The family is called Accipitridae

    the bald eagle is one of the largest birds in the world
    usually the larger species of birds of prey are called eagles
    the smaller species are called hawks and buzzards

    BALD EAGLES are a type of bird called a RAPTOR
    the word raptor is from the LATIN word RAPTARE which means to grab
    BALD EAGLES are a type of raptor because BALD EAGLES grab their food with their feet
    there are 280 species of raptor worldwide
    EAGLES ARE THE LARGEST OF THE RAPTORS

    There are 48 species or kinds of eagles in the world
    only the BALD EAGLE and the GOLDEN EAGLE live in North America

    THE BALD EAGLE IS VERY ADAPTABLE TO THE EXTREMELY WIDE RANGE OF CLIMATES AND
    CONDITIONS ON THE NORTH AMERICAN CONTINENT




    northern BALD EAGLES are a bit larger than southern BALD EAGLES



    IN EARLY COLONIAL TIMES .. EUROPEANS TRAVELING TO NORTH AMERICA WROTE IN JOURNALS ABOUT
    EAGLES LIVING IN COLONIES OF MANY MANY MANY HUNDREDS OF BIRDS  ! ! !

 

    BIOLOGY
    physical characteristics

    COLOR
    dark blackish body
    white head
    white tail
    huge huge huge yellow gold feet
    enormous black claws / talons for gripping
    distinctive MASSIVE strong hooked yellow beak
    yellow iris eyes

    SIZE
    large substantial bird

    height
    from bill to tip of tail - 30 - 35 inches
    males are a little bit smaller and lighter
    weight of males about 20 % less than females
    largest female usually 16 pounds
    males about 10 pounds

    WINGSPAN
    female - 6.5 - 7.5 feet
    male -     6  -  6.5 feet

    HEAD
    bright white
    crisp color
    rounded
    with bright bright eyes
    flexible neck

    EYES
    large piercing yellow gold eyes
    many many special cone cells
    give tremendous detail vision and clarity
    these cells are located in the retina

    an eagle's eyeballs are so so so big that they are very tight in the eye sockets
    the bald eagle's eyeballs are fixed in the sockets
    to be able to see to the left and to the right an eagle has to turn its head
    the large large size and shape of the eyes of the bald eagle
    create the ability for super super great magnification

    can see fish 2 - 3 miles away  ! ! !
    they also have great depth perception
    can see 8 times better than a human

    each eye is situated on each side of head but amazingly bald eagles can see straight ahead
    birds have the best vision of all animals
    it is believed that eagles have the best vision of all birds

    bald eagles have 3 eyelids
    2 regular eyelids
    external  
    move up and down
    close to sleep
    3rd eyelid is called nictating membrane
    eyelid moves across eye .. back and forth .. from inside of eye across to outside edge and back ..
    close to blink
    protects eye from injury
    nictitating membrane also helps cut glare

    supra-orbital ridges are bony ridges of skull that extend over the eyes to protect them from injury
    the supra-orbital ridges shield the eyes like visors
    the supra-orbital ridges reduce glare

    BEAK
    the beak is actually jaw bones that extend out of mouth and are covered with hard material
    beak is super sensitive to touch
    nostrils are at base of upper part of beak
    do not have teeth

    EARS
    outer ear
    short tube leads from eardrum to outside opening
    most birds ear openings are right behind jaw

    10 times more sensitive to changes of pitch and intensity in sound than humans
    birds can notice sounds that are of a duration of 1/200th of a second    
    WOW !!! super amazing

    hearing excellent !
    can hear infrasounds ..
    low frequency sounds noises
    thunderstorms
    ocean waves
    earthquakes
    animals moving along ground

    WOW !!


    SKELETON
    BONES
    long bones are like tubes .. with criss cross bone material inside
    the criss cross insides make them stronger
    the hollow construction makes them lighter for flight


    FEATHERS
    feathers made of protein called keratin

    birds have 4 kinds of wing feathers :
    large primaries
    smaller secondaries
    coverts
    contours

    birds fly 2 ways
    gliding
    flapping

    all birds have distinct feather patterns called plumage

    bald eagles can spread primary feathers like humans can spread fingers

    feathers around eyes nostrils and beaks are short and stiff to protect these features
    called bristle feathers

    once a year all feathers of body are replaced - process called molting
    occurs before time of mating

    all birds have a preen gland
    produces oil used to groom feathers - cleans and waterproofs
    the oil is changed into vitamin D by sunlight
    each day as bird grooms - swallows some of the vitamin D   !
    important and needed nutrient

    male and female of mated pair groom each others .. face .. head .. and .. neck ..
    areas that otherwise each would be unable to reach to groom


    LEGS
    what looks like the knees of a bird are actually their ankles
    the foot bone is extended and longer
    at the end of the bone are toes
    the knee is actually up close to the body
    the knee is hidden by feathers


    FEET
    bald eagles have super super strong tendons that are located down the length of their legs
    and
    across all 4 of their toes

    these tendons help the bald eagle to have super powerful closing force in their toes

    the bald eagle foot has 4 toes
    3 toes point forward toward the front of the eagle's body
    1 toe points backward toward the back of the eagle's body
    the arrangement of the toes is part of what creates the astounding grasping gripping ability
    the 3 toes pointing forward oppose  ( are opposite to )  the 1 toe pointing backward
    this opposition is part of what helps the toes to have the extreme strength in the grip

    the bald eagle stands on the tips of it's toes

    THE GRIP OF THE BALD EAGLE TOES IS SO STRONG THAT 2 HUMANS
    WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO OPEN THEIR GRIP

    bald eagles have specialized pads on the bottoms of their toes to help them grip
    these pads have spicules
    spicules are spiny scales on the pads of the toes

    at the end of each toe is a TALON
    a talon is a type of claw
    the talons of the bald eagle are
    black
    extremely sharp
    2" long

    the talons are used to help the bald eagle grip
    bald eagles hunt fish
    diving into the water with their feet and grabbing a fish
    the talons are also used for self protection and to protect and defend their babies and their mate


    BALD EAGLES ARE VERY VERY VERY CONTROLLED
    WITH THEIR VERY VERY VERY POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS FEET  

    when bald eagles court their mates they are very careful to NOT hurt each other with
    their talons when they grip each other with their feet

    BALD EAGLES ARE ALSO VERY CAREFUL IN THEIR NESTS
    AFTER THEIR EGGS ARE LAID
    AND THEIR CHICKS HATCH

    they curve their talons in towards the bottoms of their toes
    and walk around their nests on their knuckles
    so as to keep their RAZOR SHARP talons safely tucked in   !!!

    bald eagles use their feet for many functions
    their lifestyle requires that they have increased ability to grip with their amazing feet

    the main food of the bald eagle is fish
    the shape of the bodies of fish have developed so that they can move through the water super fast !
    their scales help them glide through the water
    they are also wet and slippery

    SO BALD EAGLES NEED TO BE ABLE TO GRIP GRIP GRIP GRIP !!!!

    TAIL
    long broad tails
    helpful for flying
    awkward when walking on ground

 
 

    LIFESPAN

    BALD EAGLES LIVE ABOUT 30 YEARS     ! ! !
 

    WHERE IN THE WORLD
    KK
    BALD EAGLES ARE NATIVE TO NORTH AMERICA

    BALD EAGLES LIVE ONLY IN NORTH AMERICA

    central and southwestern ALASKA United States
    east through CANADA to NEWFOUNDLAND Canada
    around the GREAT LAKES

    ALASKA United States
    south to CALIFORNIA United States

    northern Mexico
    Baja Mexico

    NEWFOUNDLAND Canada
    south to FLORIDA United States

    BALD EAGLES are NOT in a few areas in the middle of North America
    NOT in the middle of Texas
    NOT in Arizona

 

    WHERE  IN  THE  WORLD

    MIGRATE
    most unmated bald eagles and those whose mates have died do move around a bit within their range
    these bald eagles move according to specific patterns
    they move with the seasons between breeding places called breeding grounds
    and
    wintering places called wintering grounds

    THIS TYPE OF MOVEMENT IS CALLED MIGRATION
    MIGRATION -
    the journey that may be made twice a year between
    a summer breeding area .. where food is plentiful
    and
    a wintering area .. with warmer climate

    some bald eagles move ..
    north south east west

    there is great variety in migration and movement patterns of these bald eagles without mates

    unlike other birds bald eagles do NOT migrate outside of the geographic boundaries of their range
    all of the movements of these bald eagles ultimately have to do with returning to existing nests
    or establishing new nests

    most often bald eagles migrate only until they reach the age of reproductive maturity
    or if their mate has died
    AFTER THEY SELECT A MATE THEY THEN REMAIN AROUND THEIR NEST AREA YEAR ROUND

    bald eagles without mates will change their lifestyle habits of food types and hunting methods to
    accommodate changes of range

    the migrating northern bald eagles travel long distances south in autumn
    these eagles start to move south in October
    these same eagles start to move north in February

    these migrating bald eagles ride thermal wind currents
    thermal wind currents develop from warmer air heated near the ground
    the warmer air helps the bald eagles to glide high up into the air
    the bald eagles are carried along by these thermal currents
    then they use the prevailing southern winds to continue on their trip
    then they repeat the process over and over again
    bald eagles can travel HUNDREDS OF MILES IN ONE DAY in this manner
    utilizing wind currents means that they do not need too much WING POWER  
    this method of flight travel helps them to conserve energy   ! ! !


    most BALD EAGLES in Alaska and western Canada
    must travel a bit south during the winter for more availability of food


    BALD EAGLES IN THE SOUTHERN EXTREMES OF THEIR RANGE
    DO NOT NEED TO MIGRATE FOR FOOD BECAUSE IT IS WARMER IN THE SOUTH
    BUT WILL MOVE AROUND IN SEARCH OF MATES

    WARMER TEMPERATURES ALLOW FOR DEPENDABLE CONTINUOUS SOURCES OF FOOD

 

    HABITAT

    BALD EAGLES LIVE IN A WIDER RANGE OF PLACES AND A WIDER RANGE OF CLIMATES THAN ANY
    OTHER BIRD IN THE WORLD

    their range includes territories in
    coasts around the ARTIC with coniferous forests
    desert shores of Texas
    semitropical mangrove swamps in southern Florida
    inland freshwater lakes
    inland freshwater rivers
    cypress wetlands in the southern part of their range
    dry hot deserts of the Baja peninsula

    bald eagles live along the edge of water of
    lakes  
    rivers
    marshes
    wetlands
    seacoasts

    the nest of the bald eagle is called an AERIE or AERY

    THE NEST OF THE BALD EAGLE IS THE LARGEST NEST OF ALL BIRD SPECIES IN THE WORLD   !!!
    the nest is an open nest with no top

    a new nest is usually about
    3 feet across
    18 inches deep

    an older nest
    10 feet across
    20 feet deep

    BALD EAGLE NESTS CAN BE MORE THAN 100 YEARS OLD  !!!
    continuously used for generations of bald eagles ! ! !
    and
    can weigh 2 tons  ! ! !


    After finding a mate .. each new pair claims territory around their nest
    the pair will defend this territory and keep other bald eagles away when they are raising their babies

    the territory for THAT nest is about 1/2 mile all around
    bald eagles often have more than 1 nest

    they will have up to 3 nests .. each with it's own nest territory of abut 1/2 mile all around

    all of these nests will be within 1 mile of each other

    BALD EAGLE NESTS ARE MASSIVE
    constructed with sticks
    the sticks can be up to 4 feet long
    when using the nest for their babies ..
    the adults will weave green leaves into the exterior of the nest
    the nest is lined with soft material
    soft grasses
    lichens
    moss
    feathers

    the nests are built in
    the tops of tall trees
    near water
    sometimes the top area of cliffs

    used EVERY year
    added to every year

    the nests are SO strong they can support the weight of an adult human  !!!
 
 

    SOCIAL  ORGANIZATION

    BALD EAGLES LEAVE THEIR BIRTH NEST AT ABOUT 10 - 12 WEEKS
    they stay around their birth nest area for another 8 - 10 weeks
    then bald eagles go off alone

    bald eagles have a solitary lifestyle for the first 4 - 5 years of their lives

    they find a mate for the 1st time at about 4 - 5 years of age
    then
    their social organization consists of a PAIR

    sometimes bald eagles are gregarious and very social !
    in winter when they often will feed together in large communal numbers

    bald eagles will adjust their social behavior in winter when food is hard to find
    bald eagles will become very social and gregarious
    becoming social means help and survival for all of the bald eagles in an area

    in winter bald eagles are not territorial and do not defend their territories
    when food is located bald eagles SHARE with each other
    salmon
    ducks
    carrion

    carrion provides much food for the younger adult bald eagles
    because they do not have all the hunting experience and practice of the older eagles

    in winter bald eagles have a distinct and predictable routine
    sleep
    perch
    eat

    they rest most of the day
    need to conserve energy
    when weather is bad .. stay on their roost perch for days
    at night bald eagles perch and sleep in communal rest roosts
    with dozens or hundreds of bald eagles together


    in winter
    bald eagles feed communally
    the bald eagles use repetitive patterns of action to feed
    SEARCH
    LOCATE
    GATHER
    EAT
    SCATTER

    SEARCH
    LOCATE
    GATHER
    EAT
    SCATTER

    REPEAT

    this way they are all able to know what is going on by utilizing large soaring flights
    and
    can see what is happening in a large area
    and
    can all gather when food is located
 
 

CONCERN FOR ANIMALS
IS A MATTER OF TAKING THE SIDE OF THE WEAK AGAINST THE STRONG
SOMETHING THE BEST PEOPLE
HAVE ALWAYS DONE

Harriet Beecher Stowe


OUR  LIVES  BEGIN  TO  END  THE  DAY  WE  BECOME  SILENT  ABOUT  THINGS  THAT  MATTER

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


WE ARE PART OF THE EARTH
AND
IT IS PART OF US
THE PERFUMED FLOWERS ARE OUR SISTERS
THE DEER .. THE HORSE .. THE GREAT EAGLE .. THESE ARE OUR BROTHERS
THE ROCKY CRESTS .. THE MEADOWS .. AND MAN
ALL BELONG TO THE SAME FAMILY

Chief Seattle
 
" GOD,
the hope of all the ends of the earth
"
Psalm 65:5
 


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