It is a large bird of prey with a contrasting white head, compared to the dark plumage of their body. They are not bald but get their name as they were once known as the ‘Piebald Eagle’ and over time this was shortened, to just Bald Eagle.
Bald eagles are mainly solitary but will join with their partner during the breeding season. Where lots of food is available, they can gather in large numbers and can sometimes roost in large numbers. Some individuals will migrate to areas where food is plentiful.
Bald eagles were on the brink of extinction, with numbers as low as only approximately 500 nesting pairs, during the mid-1900’s. This was mainly due to insecticides, such as DDT that impacted severely on this species, causing deformities, neurological damage, and most significantly brittle eggshells. Since DDT was banned, in 1972, the population has rebounded, with 70,000 pairs in North America presently. The bald eagle recovery is recognized as a conservation success story and illustrates what the cooperation of governmental and non-governmental agencies can achieve, when working together to save a species.
Size: Bald Eagles are a large bird of prey with wingspans of up to 2.3 meters. Their body length ranges from 80cm to 95cm, from head to tail and they can weight up to 4.5kg