fbpx

Bald Eagle

Haliaeetus leucocephalus

Photo: Nancy Turner

Bald Eagle

Appearance

Bald eagles grow to about one metre tall and have a wingspread of over two meters. The female is bigger than male. They have a white head, white tail and a large yellow bill.

Range & Habitat

Bald eagles are found all over B.C. and the US (mostly in Florida and Alaska); the largest populations live in B.C. and Alaska. They are a protected species in the US. In B.C., this animal lives in the Coast and Mountains and Georgia Lowlands ecoprovinces.

Diet & Behaviour

They eat fish, birds, and small mammals and will also scavenge for food. They use the same nest each year. One nest can weigh more than a car. Eagles can fly 30 to 65 kilometres per hour and can dive at over 160 kilometres per hour. They also hunt for weak and old animals and assist in the recycling of nutrients in nature by eating dead animals (called carrion).

Lifecycle & Threats

Young bald eagles are patchy brown and white and they take at least four years to grow their adult white head and tail. They live up to 30 years in the wild. Threats to bald eagles include pesticides, especially DDT which is used to control insects on food crops. If eagles eat other animals or insects with DDT on or in them the shells of the eggs that the eagles lay become too thin to hold in their chicks. The good news is that DDT has now been banned in Canada and eagle populations are increasing.

Status

COSEWIC: Not at Risk
CDC: Yellow

More Information

www.hww.ca

Photo: BugBaitofSeney