Alaska Species Explorer


Bald Eagle

Common Name: Bald Eagle
Scientific Name: Haliaeetus leucocephalus
Distribution: Wide spread across North America and into areas in Central America.
Conservation Status:

The Bald Eagle’s recovery is a spectacular conservation success story.On August 9, 2007, the bald eagle was removed from the federal list of threatened and endangered species. After nearly disappearing from most of the United States decades ago, the bald eagle is now flourishing across the nation and no longer needs the protection of the Endangered Species Act.  Although they are no longer listed as endangered, they are still federally protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Lacey Act.

Average Wingspan: 80.3 inches
Average Weight: 3000-6300 grams
Plumage Description:

Adult Bald Eagles have white heads and tails with dark brown bodies and wings. Their legs and bills are bright yellow. Immature birds have mostly dark heads and tails; their brown wings and bodies are mottled with white in varying amounts. Young birds attain adult plumage in about five years.

Diet in the Wild:

Salmon, herring, shad, and catfish, birds, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates such as crabs, and mammals including rabbits and muskrats.

Number of Eggs Per Clutch: 1-3 eggs
Incubation Period: 34-36 days

Bald Eagles are most widespread during winter, where they can be found along coasts, rivers, lakes, marshes and reservoirs in many states. They winter in large numbers at some lakes and national wildlife refuges.  They prefer tall, mature coniferous or deciduous trees that afford a wide view of the surroundings.

Threats in the Wild: Pesticides, pollution and electrocution
Did you know?:
  • The largest bald eagle nest on record was found in St. Petersburg, Florida
  • Can live up to 28 years in the wild and 36 years in captivity
  • Capable of floating, they may use their wings to “row” over water too deep for wading