A bald eagle is able to move its wings with force from the eighth week after birth, they can lift their legs from the nest and put them out of it (little by little) to be able to launch and learn to fly. They have really fascinating and masterful behaviors, that is why we have decided to explain everything about this bird in this post.
This animal is considered a true predator in the air, the Bald Eagle has as its scientific name Haliaeetus leucocephalus Although it is also known by the name of American Eagle, Bald Eagle, Bald Eagle, and Bald Eagle; this kind of bird is accipitriforme and belongs to the bird family Accipitridae.
These eagles have an average lifespan approximately similar to that of humans, they can range from 20 to 30 years, although they easily have the capacity to reach 50 years. And they can last much longer, if they remain calm and low profile, if so they can reach 60 years or even more.
Bald eagles are flighty and powerful, soaring, gliding and flapping their wings as they go for long distances, on several occasions, a male and female have been seen soaring high into the sky, locking talons and somersaulting down together like sign of a good relationship, in addition to that they harass birds, including other eagles to steal their food and occasionally do the same with mammals such as river or sea otters.
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Characteristics of the Bald Eagle
- This animal is a true predator, it is very skilled at hunting and can eat any type and variety of animal it pleases.
- They usually have batraz brown plumage for the first 2 to 3 years, that is, they are dark in color during this period. The white head and tail emerge before sexual maturity, which occurs before 4 or 5 years after birth.
- A male is capable of weighing up to 2,3 kg and having a wingspan of up to 1,8 m. The largest and most developed are in Alaska. Females can have larger numbers such as 7 kg and a wingspan of up to about 2,5 meters.
- Most species of female eagles are approximately 25% larger and stronger than males. In general, this species enjoys great strength and great size, its wings allow them to reach a speed greater than 50 kilometers per hour.
- The vast majority of eagles are carnivorous, they are also fishing birds and a large bird of prey native to Sub-Saharan Africa. These feed mainly on the fruit of the oil palm.
- They are the largest in the world like the Harpy eagle and the Philippine eagle, and have wingspans of over 250 centimeters, in some cases, and have been known to kill and carry prey as large as deer, goats, and monkeys, among others.
- They are capable of gliding for long hours without a single flapping of their wings, they use thermal columns to do that.
- Many bald eagles weighing more than 9 kilograms have been seen. It is one of the heaviest eagle species in the world.
- The eyes of the eagles have a million light-sensitive cells per square mm of retina, which makes them one of the animals with the best eyesight in the world, 5 times more than humans. While humans see only three basic colors, eagles see five, these adaptations give extremely acute vision and allow them to spot even well-camouflaged potential prey from a very long distance.
- On the ground bald eagles walk very clumsily, they are also able to float, they can use their wings to paddle over water too deep to survive, otherwise they could easily die if they did not get out of the water too soon.
These eagles can reproduce easily but they have to wait a minimum of four to five years for their organs to develop well and to be mature enough for sexual intercourse.
It is estimated that they only have one partner in life, unless this one disappears or dies, if so, they would look for another partner to protect them and to help them reproduce. They always like to return to the place where they were born to continue forming the new offspring that are to come, they like to have a single habitat and a single nest, or house.
As mentioned above, when their partner dies, these found in their loneliness decide to look for a second partner, but if by chance this one also dies, several studies have revealed that given that they have failed in love and in their hope to multiply and give birth to new offspring, these widowers or widowers in honor of that they commit suicide.
Before doing so, they do many pirouettes and turns in the air to attract everyone's attention and when their show is over, they go up, fly as high as possible so that they fall to the ground with great speed, impact and thus die. .
The female uses the sense of sight to get a mate, since the male, in the process of courting her and attracting her attention, performs acrobatics in the air, with which he manages to attract her attention and impress her, thus being able to copulate with her. The most normal thing from here is that the pair of birds builds the nest for the eggs, and the females usually lay between 1 and 3 eggs at most.
Then it is the turn of incubation, which lasts 35 days, although it should be noted that it is greatly reduced in the eagles that live further north, all due to the cold temperatures. When the little pups are born they will live with the adults until they are about 18 weeks old.
This is one of the animals that build one of the largest nests in the world, they always use the same one and each time they complement it more and more in order to make it bigger and have greater comfort for both parents and offspring.
It can be between 3 and 4 meters wide or perhaps more, weighing up to a ton depending on the young they have. Studies carried out in the North of the United States indicate having once seen one 6 meters long and 3 meters wide, thus weighing 3 and a half tons.
They usually look for a quiet, alone and comfortable space to build these nests, most of the time they do it on trees and inside their branches to be able to add soft material and thus have greater comfort.
They have something in common with humans to a certain extent, and that is that both the father and the mother have to nest the eggs together, although of course the female makes them for a longer period, since the male must go out to look for food. and materials to make their nest a larger, more stable habitat for hatchlings in the making.
The bald eagle usually lays only two eggs and the older and larger chick frequently kills its younger sibling, once they have hatched no action is taken by the parents to stop the killing between these siblings.
They try to lay at least two eggs per year in order to be able to reproduce and that their offspring are not left alone in case of death, these offspring would have siblings and would take care of each other. The process of gestation and laying an egg goes from 31 to 45 days and is carried out by both parents. Once they come out of the eggs and they grow (around 70 to 96 days), they take flight and fly alone, often in the company of their parents to prevent them from getting lost or becoming prey to some other predator.
Once they are born and come out of the egg, the parents stop paying attention to them little by little and together they stop contributing things to the nest, thus generating the responsibility in them that they themselves go out to look for their food and their materials to be able to continue holding the nest and gradually reproducing themselves.
Generally when they are born, their feathers are completely dark in color, they acquire the typical shape and the typical white color on the head and tails when they are already adults, and this is approximately 4 or 5 years after their birth.
The parents gradually give power to the young so that they see that they have the strength and ability to support themselves and the nest, they teach them to hunt so that when they are not there they can continue to stock up and not die. . It is a bird very different from others Birds.
They usually feed on dead animals or aquatic animals that roam the surface of the water and are visible to them. They use their long legs and fingers to easily catch the prey, and if they want to kill it, they simply stick their huge claws into them, killing them instantly.
Most of the eagles have a very varied diet and even when some of them are birds of prey they are highly specialized in choosing their prey very well, for example they have the intelligence to know how to follow a diet and eat only one type of food specifically for thus maintain its optimal condition.
They also feed on carcasses, bald eagles can eat any type of carcass including black vultures, dogs, turkeys, etc. Along the way if they come across other species including crows, coyotes, cats and dogs they will also eat them. Most of the time they manage on their own.
They have to be very careful not to fall into the water while hunting as they can die or drown, or be hunted by some marine predator, or hypothermic due to the temperature of the sea and the internal temperature of each eagle (which is usually very high).
At the time of hunting they can carry a weight equivalent to half their weight, if they are larger it will be difficult for them to fly and they will do so with many complications unless they quickly reach their nest or where they are going to eat their prey.
Un Interesting fact And shocking is that the largest known prey of an eagle was a wicker deer weighing 37 kilograms which was up to 8 times more than the weight of the bald eagle that killed it.
It has been seen mostly in North America, in some rare cases it has been seen in Bermuda, Belize, Puerto Rico, Ireland and the US Virgin Islands.
They can be found near lakes and rivers, as well as in wet meadows, forests, or mountains. They choose areas that have available food and tall trees, but they avoid at all costs places that have signs of human activities, that is, they will rarely be seen in large cities.
Several years ago there were approximately 10 eagles of this species left worldwide, that is, it was about to become extinct. As they are mostly found in the United States, said government decided to form a plan to prevent them from becoming extinct and thanks to the support of the population, this problem could be solved.
These animals are versatile in terms of their habitat, they can adapt to almost everyone and any type of space that is put in front of them. They are mostly seen in very humid places, they have been seen in deserts, rivers, lakes, swamps or anything similar that has abundant bodies of water, since fish and other types of marine animals live there that can be easy for them to hunt and thus ensure their nutrition.
This species likes very tall trees (more than 20 meters and up) because in this way they can have a very good vision of everything, their prey, their threats, their offspring, etc. If these are near the edge of the water, then much better because they would have the facility to hunt and visualize their prey with greater amplitude and advantage over them.
They are as agile in hunting as other species of the animal kingdom, for example El Tigre, panthers, or sharks (to include various types of world terrain).
The Bald Eagle and the United States
It is such a powerful and intelligent bird that the United States took it to be the national symbol of that country and even commanded it as the first image of the national coat of arms as well. The Washington Eagle was named in honor of George Washington.
Although the bald eagle is revered in North America, it is almost extinct and hunting in abundance was one of the causes of the decline of this species. Man-made products are also to blame, such as various pesticides that created and contaminated many of the fish that the birds ate, obviously after eating contaminated fish, bald eagles would lay eggs with very thin shells, which made it difficult for them to reproduce.
Once the poison was removed in the 1970's, bald eagles began to make a comeback and today the bald eagle is not endangered. There are currently more than 10.000 bald eagles in North America according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species.