28 October, 2009

Bald Eagle

Scientific Name: Haliaeetus leucocephalus

Population Estimate: 300K

Range / Habitat: Found in wooded areas near water, breeding in Alaska, Canada, and parts of the upper midwest. Winters throughout the rest of the US, down into Mexico.

Field Notes: Large bird with hooked bill often seen soaring. Adults unmistakable with white head and tail. Juveniles are as large but mottled brown and white. In years two and three they develop an eyestripe as in the top photos. Adult plumage attained in the fourth year. Golden Eagle similar size and coloration as a juvenile Bald Eagle but with wrist spots in the juvenile and pale trailing edge in the adult.

Personal Notes: A dramatic and imposing bird, we saw a Bald Eagle feasting on the same carcass as several Common Raven in northern Minnesota and the eagle was easily twice as large. We are fortunate to see many of these birds Minnesota as it has the largest population of Bald Eagles of any state after Alaska.

1 comment: