Nature Canada

The Majestic Bald Eagle

Image of Asma Hassan

Asma Hassan, Guest Blogger

This blog was written by Asma Hassan.

The majestic Bald Eagle is unique to North America. In Canada, British Columbia tends to have the largest concentration of this species and this province seems to be a prime location for these birds to breed and nest during the winter. In terms of habitats, Bald Eagles favour forests near large bodies of water as this type of location provides a resting place and is close to their prey.

Basic Facts:

  • Genus: Haliaeetus
  • Species: leucocephalus
  • Average Life Span: 25 to 40 years
  • Gestation Period: 35 days

The average female Bald Eagle weighs anywhere from 4.5 to 6.8 kg while the average male weighs from 2.7 to 4 kg. The wingspan of this species of bird is over two feet on average! Equipped with sharp talons, a hooked beak and large, spiked feet, the Bald Eagle’s body is perfect for hunting. In terms of eating habits, it subsists on a diet of fish, carrion, rodents and other birds. Bald Eagles also have excellent vision, which is why the phrase “eagle eye” is no joke. The average Bald Eagle can see 4 to 7 times better than a human.Image of a Bald Eagle

The Bald Eagle is a predator that holds a firm position at the top of the food chain. Though this bird does not have to fear other wildlife as threats to its well being, it does have another threat. Humans are arguably one of the main causes of the decline in the Bald Eagle population. Human intervention such as the cutting of trees results in a loss of habitat, which has a negative impact on reproduction. The use of pesticides has also had a significant impact on the Bald Eagle population as it contaminates their food supply. In order to prevent extensive human intervention, laws have been put in place to protect this species.

Though this species has experienced some rough patches, the Bald Eagle population in Canada is currently stable.

Did you know?

  • Bald Eagles perform a special courtship dance in the sky!
  • The Bald Eagle is not actually bald. This term stems from the root word “piebald” which means spotty, a more accurate description of the bird.
  • If a Bald Eagle loses a feather on one wing, it will shed it on the other as well in order to maintain its balance.
  • Bald Eagles are the largest birds of prey in Canada.
  • Of all the birds in North America, the Bald Eagle builds the largest nest.

If you want to learn more about the other types of raptors in Canada, be sure to check out our Raptors and Owls e-Book!

Acknowledgements: Hinterland Who’s Who Bald Eagle, Canadian Geographic and Defenders of Wildlife

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