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American Bald Eagle

American Bald Eagle
Photo Information
Copyright: Joy Kelley (rkyobo) Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 29 W: 5 N: 21] (217)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2005-07-01
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon Powershot SD300
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2005-12-30 21:05
Viewed: 4192
Points: 0
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
There was a show with birds of prey at Six Flags Amusement Park in Missouri, and I was able to get a few photos from a distance. Not super sharp, but I like it anyway.

Eagles are a member of the Accipitridae family, which also includes hawks, kites, and old-world vultures. Both male and female adult bald eagles have a blackish-brown back and breast; a white head, neck, and tail; and yellow feet and bill.

Juvenile bald eagles are a mixture of brown and white; with a black bill in young birds. The adult plumage develops when they're sexually mature, at about 4 or 5 years of age.

The bald eagle is the only eagle confined to North America, and there are no other large black birds in North America with white heads and tails.

Size - The female bald eagle is 35 to 37 inches, slightly larger than the male. With a wingspan which varies from 79 to 90 inches.

The male bald eagle has a body length from 30 to 34 inches. The wingspan ranges from 72 to 85 inches.Bald eagles weigh from ten to fourteen pounds. Northern birds are significantly larger than their southern relatives.

The golden eagle is larger than the bald eagle in average height and wingspan, but there isn't much difference in their average weight.

Habitat - Bald eagles live along the coast and on major lakes and rivers where they feed mainly on fish.

Longevity - Wild bald eagles may live as long as thirty years, but the average lifespan is probably about fifteen to twenty years. A captive eagle at West Stephentown, NY lived to be at least 48 years old.

Eagles sit at the top of the food chain, making them more vulnerable to toxic chemicals in the environment, since each link in the food chain tends to concentrate chemicals from the lower link.

Body Temperature - 102 degrees Fahrenheit (38.8 degrees Celsius)

Tolerance to cold temperatures - A bald eagle's skin is protected by feathers lined with down. The feet are cold resistance because they are mostly tendon. The outside of the bill is mostly nonliving material, with little blood supply.

Fidelity - Once paired, bald eagles remain together until one dies, the survivor will not hesitate to accept a new mate.

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