Name / Scientific Name
The bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), our national bird, is the only eagle unique to North America. The bald eagle's scientific name signifies a sea (halo) eagle (aeetos) with a white (leukos) head. At one time, the word "bald" meant "white," not hairless. Bald eagles are found over most of North America, from Alaska and Canada to northern Mexico. About half of the world's 70,000 bald eagles live in Alaska. Combined with British Columbia's population of about 20,000, the northwest coast of North America is by far their greatest stronghold for bald eagles. They flourish here in part because of the salmon. Dead or dying fish are an important food source for all bald eagles.
Eagles are a member of the Accipitridae family, which also includes hawks, kites, and old-world vultures.
Scientists loosely divide eagles into four groups based on their physical characteristics and behavior. The bald eagle is a sea or fish eagle.
There are two subspecies of bald eagles. The "southern" bald eagle, Haliaeetus leucocephalus leucocephalus, is found in the Gulf States from Texas and Baja California across to South Carolina and Florida, south of 40 degrees north latitude.
The "northern" bald eagle, Haliaeetus leucocephalus alascanus, is found north of 40 degrees north latitude across the entire continent. The largest numbers of northern bald eagles are in the Northwest, especially in Alaska. The "northern" bald eagle is slightly larger than the "southern" bald eagle. Studies have shown that "northern" bald eagles fly into the southern states and Mexico, and the "southern" bald eagles fly north into Canada. Because of these finding, the subspecies of "northern" and "southern" bald eagles has been discontinued in recent literature.
|Habitat | | | |The bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) is a member of the sea and fish eagle group. They live in inland waterways and estuarine areas of | |Georgia. Active eagle nest were located in Dougherty County in 1997-1999 and 2000 – 2002. | | | |Its closest relatives, similar in appearance and habit, are found in Africa and Asia. Even though they are fish eaters, they will take ducks | |and birds or whatever prey is available and easiest to obtain. Bald eagles which live along the coast and on major lakes and rivers feed mainly| |on fish. Bald eagles fish in both fresh and salt water. | | | | Because of their size, they have few enemies and require a large hunting area. | | | | A bald eagle's lifting power is about 4 pounds. They do not generally feed on chickens or other domestic livestock, but they will make use | |of available food sources. Bald eagles will take advantage of carrion (dead and decaying flesh). Because of its scavenger image, some people | |dislike the bald eagle. Other people do not care for powerful and aggressive birds. Still other people object merely on the grounds that it is | |a bird of prey, which kills other animals for food....
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