Bald eagles have become a powerful symbol of the United States of America. But there are a number of interesting aspects to these creatures. Learn some amazing Facts About Bald Eagles below!
1. YOUNG BALD EAGLES AREN’T BALD.
It’s clear that adult bald eagles don’t actually not bald either. Their heads also have bright white feathers that contrast with dark body feathers. This gives them the “bald” look. However, young bald eagles sport predominantly brown heads. For the initial two or three years in their life, they shift through a complex series of various types of plumage; in their second year, for example, they’ve got white bellies.
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2. BALD EAGLES SOUND SO SILLY THAT HOLLYWOOD DUBS OVER THEIR VOICES.
It’s an image you’ve likely seen numerous times in movies and on television: A bald eagle flies across the sky and emits an ear-piercing, rough sound. It’s a symbol of adventure and wilderness. The only issue? Bald eagles can’t make that sound.
Instead, they make a kind of high-pitched giggling or a low sound like a scream. They are so uninspiring it is no wonder that Hollywood sound editors frequently duplicate the calls of bald eagles with much more striking sounds like the sharp, deep screams of a lesser bird, the Red-tailed Hawk. If you’re a fan of The Colbert Report, you may remember the famous CGI Eagle from the opening scene. It is also making the red-tailed hawk cry. Listen for yourself, and then choose which is the more impressive sound.
3. THEY EAT TRASH AND STEAL FOOD.
Imagine a majestic bald eagle hovering across a lake, taking a fish with its claws. True, bald eagles consume much fish, but they aren’t always catching the fish themselves. They’ve perfected their technique of taking a catch from birds, such as ospreys, and then chasing their prey until they release their prey.
Bald eagles also eat ducks, gulls, amphibians, rabbits, crabs, and others. They’ll pick up trash in garbage cans, eat the leftovers from fish processing facilities, and eat carrion (decaying animals).
4. BALD EAGLES USUALLY MATE FOR LIFE
The carrion and trash aside, they’re lovely romantic animals. Bald eagles are known to form a pair for the duration of their lives and have a shared parenting responsibility Male and female share the responsibility of incubating eggs. They also provide their children with food.
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5. … AND THEY LIVE PRETTY LONG LIVES.
The romantic bonds are more impressive since the bald eagle can live for many decades. In 2015 the wild eagle of Henrietta, New York, passed away at the record-setting old age of 38. Given that these birds are paired between 4 and 5 years old this is a significant amount of Valentine’s Day.
6. THEY HOLD THE RECORD FOR THE LARGEST BIRD’S NEST.
Bald eagles create huge nests that are high up in the treetops. Male and female eagles work in the nest together This time together can help them strengthen their relationship. Their comfy nurseries comprise an enveloping of sticks, lined with soft stuff like feathers and grass. If their nest can serve them well in the time of breeding, they’ll use it every year. Like most homeowners, they’ll resist renovating and expanding their houses. They clean the place with one or two feet of fresh materials every year.
The average bald eagle nests are 4 to 5 feet in depth and 4 to 5 inches wide. However, one pair of eagles in St. Petersburg, Florida was awarded the Guinness World Record for the largest bird’s nest. It was 20 feet long as well as 9.5 feet across. The nest weighed more than two tons.
7. FEMALES ARE LARGER THAN MALES.
In many species of animals males in many species are (on average) bigger than females. Gorillas with males, for instance, have a larger size than their female counterparts. However, for the majority of species of birds, the situation is actually the opposite. Male black Eagles weigh 25 % less than females.
Scientists don’t know what causes the significant difference in size. One possible reason could be the manner in which they divide their nesting chores. Females lead the way in placing the nesting material therefore being larger could assist them in directing the nest. They also spend more time making eggs than males. Their size may deter potential egg theft.
If you’re trying to distinguish male and female eagles from each other by the size of their eagles, this distinction could assist you. Especially since both sexes share identical plumage patterns.
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8. TO IDENTIFY THEM, LOOK AT THE WINGS.
Many people get excited when they see the huge soaring bird. They shout “It’s an eagle!” as it closes in then … it’s a vulture! it’s an eagle. Here’s an easy way to identify it. Bald eagles generally fly with their wings nearly flat. However, on the contrary, turkey vultures, another dark and soaring bird hold their wings in a shallow V known as a dihedral. Many large birds also fly with wings slightly elevated.
9. THEY’RE COMEBACK KIDS.
Before European settlement began in the early 1800s, bald eagles were plentiful throughout the U.S. However, with the arrival of settlements was the destruction of habitat and the settlers saw the eagles as a threat to game and danger to livestock. So many eagles were killed that in 1940, Congress approved an act to safeguard the birds.
However, another threat popped up around the same time. After World War II, farmers and public health officials employed an insecticide known as DDT. It was effective in helping eliminate pests from agriculture and mosquitos. However, when it was introduced through the food chain, it started adversely impacting predatory birds. DDT made the eggshells of eagles too thin, causing the eggs to crack. An investigation in 1963 revealed just 471 bald-eagle pairs in the lower 48 states.
DDT is banned since the 1970s when it was first banned, and conservationists began breeding bald eagles in captivity and reintroducing them into areas all over America. Fortunately, the species has made a remarkable recovery. The lower 48 states have more than 9700 pairs of nesting birds.
10. THEY’RE UNIQUELY NORTH AMERICAN.
It’s likely that you’ve heard about America’s second eagle: Golden Eagle. This bird is found in the vast majority of the northern part of the hemisphere. The Bald Eagle is found only in North America. It is found throughout Canada as well as in the U.S., as well in the northern regions of Mexico.
While it’s North American, the Bald Eagle has seven relatives that can be found all over the globe. They all belong to the genus Haliaeetus, which comes–pretty unimaginatively–from the Latin words for “sea” and “eagle.” The genus’s other related species, the African Fish Eagle, is a significant symbol of its own. It’s a symbol of several nations; for instance, it is the national symbol of Zambia and is featured on the South Sudanese, Malawian as well as Namibian shields.
11. THEY’RE AERIAL DAREDEVILS.
It’s too bizarre to be real: When flying, bald eagles may grasp each other’s feet and spin before plunging towards the ground. Scientists don’t know the reason for this, though it may be an act of courtship or a territorial fight. In most cases, the two will break up before hitting the ground (as seen in this stunning series of photographs). However, sometimes they stay together and do not let go. Two male bald Eagles were locked in talons and then struck the ground while their feet were still in contact. One of them escaped, while the other was treated for talon injuries.
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12. THEIR EYES ARE AMAZING.
What if you could shut your eyes but still be able to see? In addition to the normal eyelids, they also have a view-through eyelid known as the nictitating membrane. The membrane can be closed to shield their eyes, while their eyes remain open. The membrane can also help cleanse and moisten their eyes.
Eagles have sharper vision than other animals, and their fields of view are larger. They also detect ultraviolet light. These two things are why the phrase “eagle eye” is spot-on.
13. THEY MIGRATE … SORT OF.
If you’re a Bald Eagle who lives in northern Canada it is likely that you’ll move south in the winter months to avoid the shivering cold. A lot of eagles migrate south during the winter before returning north to enjoy summer, as do a lot of other species of birds (and retirement-aged Canadians). However, not all bald eagles migrate. Some, such as people living in New England and Canada’s Maritime provinces, always stick around. The degree to which birds migrate is contingent on the bird’s age and the amount of food available.
14. THEY CAN SWIM … SORT OF.
Many videos online, such as the one above, depict a bald eagle swimming in the ocean, dragging it to shore with its enormous wings. Eagles are spherical birds with hollow bones. They also have fluffy down which means they are able to float quite well. But why do they need to swim rather than soar? Sometimes, eagles fly down to catch a large fish and then take the fish to shore for a meal.
The announcer in the video above states that the eagle’s tails are “locked” on a fish that is too heavy to be carried. Actually, the lockable talons of these fish can be described as it’s an urban myth.