Tag Archives: American Bald Eagle

American Bald Eagle

The American Bald Eagle is Americas’ national bird and also national animal. It is printed on our currency, postage stamps and used on the Presidents stationary. I took these photos of an American Bald eagle while on a boat trip in the Estero Bay near Ft. Myers Beach, Florida.

The American Bald Eagle has a brown body, white neck and head and yellow bill and talons. The talons or claws that it uses for its feet are used to pluck fish out of the water for its meals. It usually tears apart its prey whether small fish or animals with one talon while holding on with the other. It reaches maturity as the age of 3-4 years and can start flying after about 14 weeks in the nest. They usually live to around 20 years.

The eagle creates its nest, the largest of any nest of bird or animal  in North America near shorelines or wetlands where it hunts for its prey. Only about 50% of young eaglets survive because of the failure of their nests, predation from other predators or inclement weather. The eagle was an endangered species and put on a protection list of birds because of over hunting by poachers trying to obtain there feathers for hats and hunted for sport. They were also decimated in numbers by the pesticide DDT which was widely used near their habitat which caused birth defects in young birds.

The American Blad Eagle is the largest bird in North America except for the California Condor. When it flies, it doesn’t use its wings like other birds but floats along thermal currents in the sky. You can learn more information about the American Bald Eagle at the websites of the  Defenders of Wildlife  and the National Geographic.

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American Bald Eagle

American Bald Eagle

American Bald Eagle

American Bald Eagle

American Bald Eagle

American Bald Eagle  (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)

I photographed this American Bald Eagle at the Calusa Nature Center in Ft. Myers. The nature preserve has several birds on display in captivity. This eagle looked well cared for although I am sure it would rather be flying around in it’s natural surroundings. The Bald Eagle was once an endangered bird because of over hunting for sport and it’s feathers and the damage done by the chemical DDT which was used to control Malaria and other diseases in this country before it was banned. DDT weakened the eggs of Eagles and contributed to their premature death. The American Bald Eagle can be found in any state within the U.S. but is most common in Canada and Alaska where the hunting areas and habitats of the eagle are larger and more protected. The eagles’ hunting grounds are usually around large bodies of water where they swoop down and grab fish and other prey with their large claws or talons. They can tear away the body and flesh of it’s prey with its’ sharp beak. You can see from this picture how large and powerful the talons are on this bird. I didn’t feel too welcome or safe in this eagles living quarters and left as soon as I took a few pictures. The Bald Eagles in Alaska and Canada are larger than eagles seen in other states and have wing spans of 6-7 feet. Their nests are the largest of any tree-dwelling bird in the U.S. and can measure 8 feet wide by 13 feet deep. The American Bald Eagle is a national symbol of the U.S. and is pictured on a lot of our currency. It is ironic that one of our early national leaders, Ben Franklin objected to using the Bald Eagle as our national symbol because he noted that the Bald Eagle stole food from other birds.

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