Bald Eagle

Do you hear about the Bald eagle? Yes, the most opportunistic foragers mostly eat fish. But also hunt for other animals when the option is limited. They are also known for their flying behavior and ‘cloacal kiss. This creature has dark brown bodies and wings with whiteheads and tails. Now, you are thinking why they get this weird name. There is a logic behind it, to know what it is go through this article. In this article, you will also feed with the basic information about this creature such as their babies, scientific name, food, nest, and habitat.


  • It is also known as a bird of prey.
  • They can be easily found in North America.
  • It is found near the open water and mostly eats fish.
  • While it also eats squirrels, prairie dogs, raccoons, and rabbits.
  • They can fly fast and slow by shifting their wings into the winds.
  • They are famous for ‘cloacal kiss.

Scientific Classification

Family: Accipitridae

Kingdom: Animalia

Scientific Name: Haliaeetus leucocephalus



  1. They have dark brown bodies and wings with whiteheads and tails.
  2. Their bills and legs are a bright yellow.
  3. Immature birds have generally dark heads and tails, with varying levels of white mottled skin on their brown wings and body.


  1. Male bald eagles weigh 6 to 9 pounds.
  2. While females weigh 10 to 15 pounds.


  1. The adult male is around 90 cm (36 inches) in length.
  2. Females grow slightly larger than males, reaching a length of 108 cm (43 inches).


  1. In the adult male, the wingspan is 2 meters (6.6 feet).
  2. While females have a wingspan of 2.5 (8 feet).


The average lifespan of the bald eagle is about 20-30 years.


Flying Behavior

  1. An Bald eagle can fly fast or slow by shifting its posture of wings.
  2. It “cuts through” the air by turning the front edges of its wings into the wind when it wants to fly quickly. When an eagle wants to slow down, it turns the large surface of its wings into the wind, which causes the wings to “drag” through the air.

Feeding Behavior

  1. They are opportunistic predators, which means they will take from other animals or scavenge on carrion in addition to searching for live prey.

Mating Behavior

  1. The ‘cloacal kiss’ occurs when the cloaca is pressed together during mating.
  2. The male will land on her back, while the female will lean forward. The female will swing her tail feathers to one side, while the male will squeeze and twist his cloacal opening around her cloaca, transferring sperm from his to hers.

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Food & Diet

  • As recorded, fish is the staple food of a bald eagle, but they have other options too which means they eat other animals and birds.
  • Squirrels, prairie dogs, raccoons, and rabbits are among the small mammals eaten by bald eagles.


  1. They enjoy lakes and reservoirs with plenty of fish as well as forests surrounding them.
  2. It can be spotted near various types of aquatic habitats throughout their migration.


  • It normally builds its nests in trees, usually the highest living tree (super canopy) with accessible limbs.
  • The nest is built near the trunk, high in the tree, below the crown.
  • It is supported by thick forked branches.


  • We have told you earlier in this article, that this creature mate and perform a ‘cloacal kiss’ in which males and females participate equally.
  • The female lay around 1-3 eggs.
  • Male and female both work during the incubation period.


  • Each year, they have only one brood.
  • The breeding season varies by region; breeding seasons are shorter in northern regions.


  • Eaglets, or baby eagles, are born pale grey and eventually turn brown.
  • They develop their regular whiteheads and tails when they are 4 to 5 years old.
  • They can live to be 35 years old or more in the wild.


  • It is smaller than a domestic goose egg.
  • At hatching, the chick will be 4 to 5 inches long and weigh only a few ounces.
  • The incubation period is about 40 days.
  • The female sits on the nest for roughly 40 days to incubate the eggs and keep them warm.

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  • In the winter, it can be spotted hunting along coasts, reservoirs, and rivers, as well as surrounding unfrozen lakes.
  • They love to catch fish.
  • The curved and razor-sharp talons, or claws, of an eagle’s toes, are used to grasp and hold their prey.

Migration Route

  • Year-round, they can be observed in Alaska, along the East and West coastlines, in the Rocky Mountains, and along the Mississippi River.
  • When the rivers and lakes in their habitat freeze over in late October and early winter, they travel south.

Conservation & Threat

There are two major threats to this creature that is illegal shooting and lead poisoning. While others are habitat loss and power line electrocution. Several steps are taken for the conservation of bald eagles. They are as follows-

  1. Captive breeding programs
  2. Reintroduction initiatives
  3. Aggressive law enforcement, and habitat protection—including the formation of national wildlife refuges
  4. The protection of nest sites during the mating season


The bald eagle population has grown from 417 nesting pairs in 1963 to more than 71,400 nesting pairs and an approximated 316,700 individual birds in the Lower 48 now as a result of conservation initiatives.


Despite having an image of a powerful bird, the bald eagle has a weak sound call. They produce high-pitched whistling or piping notes.

Read Also: Ferruginous Hawk-Biggest hawk of North America?

Fun Facts

  • Male Bald eagles are smaller than females.
  • The species is considered a secret one for American Indian people. While it is also treated as America’s national symbol.
  • It is at the top of the chain and has no natural predators.
  • Most people think that a bald eagle is bald but no it is not true. They’re not bald. Because of their white hair, they acquire their name from an old meaning of the word “bald”.

Reference Link

Bald eagle-FAQ’s

Do bald eagles eat dog or cat?

Cats and small dogs are not hunted by eagles. Fish makes up the majority of an eagle’s diet.

What happens if bald eagle mate dies?

As per research, if the mate does not return to the nesting site, this creature will find their soul mates as soon as possible.

Does bald eagle fly in pairs?

Generally, they bald eagles do not fly in pairs but for some reason they follow others.

Which bird stays with its mate forever?

It is Albatross.

What eat bald eagles?

Adult bald eagles are not eaten by any predators, but infants may attacked by black bears, foxes, raccoons and large birds.