Bald Eagle

bald_eagleBald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus ) The Bald Eagle is a raptor that is indigenous to North America. The species was on the brink of extinction late in the 20th century but has largely recovered and now has a stable population. Adult females have a wingspan of approximately 7 feet (2.1 meters); adult males have a wingspan of 6 feet, 6 inches (2 meters). Adult females weigh approximately 12.8 lbs (5.8 kg), males weigh 9 lbs (4.1 kg). Bald Eagles are sexually mature at 4 or 5 years of age. Mated pairs produce between one and three eggs per year, but it is rare for all three chicks to successfully fledge. Thus, third chicks are sometimes removed from nests to use in reintroduction programs in areas where the species has died out. In such programs, the birds are raised in boxes, on platforms in the tree canopy, and fed in such a way that they cannot see the person supplying their food, until they are old enough to fly and thus find their own food. Bald Eagles which are old enough to nest often return to the area in which they were raised. They are more social than many other raptor species: an adult eagle looking for a nesting site is more likely to select a location that contains other immature eagles than one with no eagle population. The Bald Eagle's diet is varied, including fish, smaller birds, rodents, and sometimes food scavenged or stolen from campsites and picnics.