As the National Symbol of the United States of America, the bald eagle has a majestic and regal reputation. All bald eagles are protected under several lawful acts, and those in human care are considered property of the federal government.
Bald eagles can use their keen eyesight and incredibly strong talons to spot and swipe fish from running streams and pristine lakes. This takes a lot of effort, however, and bald eagles are known for letting other predators do the hard work for them. They are commonly seen stealing prey from smaller raptors such as osprey, a "fishy" behavior that drove Benjamin Franklin to suggest the wild turkey as the national bird instead of the bald eagle. The bald eagle is not actually bald, but has a white head of feathers! This coloration develops with maturity, around 7 years of age. The bald eagle was once endangered, but after becoming protected under the Endangered Species Act, these majestic aerial predators have made an extraordinary comeback. They are now considered a common species, but remain protected in the United States.
These birds are our National Symbol. We have 3 Bald Eagles who are permanent residents here at the Zoo, all of which were injured in the wild and are unable to fly. This is also why they do not leave their open air habitat!
Bald eagle nests can reach up to 10 ft across and 20 ft deep!
Northern Canada to Northern Mexico
Temperate forests near bodies of water such as rivers, lakes, and marshes
Height: 71-96 cm, Wingspan: 168-244 cm, Weight: 2.5-6.3 kg
Predominantly fish, supplemented with birds, crustaceans, amphibians, small mammals, and reptiles
Other animals likely prey upon eggs and chicks. Adults have no natural predators.
Large talons and curved beaks
These birds mate for life. Pairs will lock talons and tumble through the air in a spectacular mating display. They tend to add to the same nests year after year, resulting in some of the largest nests in the world.
Formerly Endangered, now Least Concern
Up to 28 years in the wild or 36 years in human care