Bald Eagle Info
The Bald Eagle has been the American National Bird since 1782 and is found only in North America. Ranging in length up to 40 inches with wingspans up to 8 feet (female bald eagles are larger in this species), they are efficient predators living mainly on fish, but will sometimes scavenge on dead animals.
Wild eagles typically live until about 30 years of age, but eagles in captivity can reach 60 years of age. One of the most amazing traits of bald eagles is seen during mating. A male and female will lock talons while flying. They will cartwheel down toward the ground and release just before impact. It is breathtaking to see, even on a nature television program.
Sadly, during the 1950's only 412 nesting pairs of birds were known to exist in the contiguous 48 states. This decline in population was mainly attributed to the use of DDT. The pesticide led to thin walls in the eagle's eggs or in some cases, making them completely sterile.
Luckily, steps were taken and the bald eagle made an amazing comeback. On June 29th, it was removed from the threatened list where it has been listed as "Least Concern" since 1999.
Anytime you get a chance to view one of these magnificent creatures, take some extra time and consider our national history at the same time.