|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note [French]|
|The bald eagle is native to North America and originally bred from central Alaska and northern Canada south to Baja California, central Arizona, and the Gulf of Mexico. It now has been extirpated in many southern areas of this range.|
Bald eagles are able to live anywhere on the North American continent where there are adequate nest trees, roosts ands feeding grounds. Open water such as a lake or an ocean, however, is a necessity.
The plumage of an adult bald eagle is brown with a white head and tail. Immature eagles are irregularly mottled with white until the fourth year. Their legs are feathered half way down the tarsus, and the beak, feet, and eyes are bright yellow. Bald eagles have massive tarsi, short and powerful grasping toes, and long talons. The talon of the hind toe highly developed in both species, and it is used to pierce vital areas while the prey is held immobile by the front toes. The wing span of an eagle can reach seven and a half feet.
Bald eagles are only partially migratory; if they possess access to open water, they will remain at that nesting sight year round. Those that do not have access to water leave the frozen countryside in the winter and migrate to south or to the coast. Eagles choose their migratory routes to take advantage of thermals, updrafts, and food sources, and usually migrate during the day between 8:00 A.M and 6:00 P.M.
There are three methods of flight used during migration. Eagles ascend in in a thermal and then glide down, circle steadily down a stream of thermals, or use rising air generated by the wind as it sweeps down against a cliff or other raised feature of the terrain.
Bald eagles are primarily fish-eaters that prefer salmon, but will also take avian prey. Waterfowl are an important secondary food source, and eagles also eat small mammals such as rabbits, seabirds, and carrion. When hunting, the Bald Eagle either seeks its prey from a perch or from high in the sky, then swoops down and snatches up the prey in its talons. Another method used by bald eagles to gain food is theft; Bald Eagles are often seen stealing prey from other birds.
Zandell, Finland_in_Eton has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.