Bald eagle Bald eagle

The bald eagle is one of two eagle species in the U.S. (the other being the golden eagle) and is a rather common resident and migrant in Wyoming.

Fun Critter Facts

The Bald eagle is regularly observed in it's preferred habitat of wooded riparian areas and near large bodies of water.  Formerly considered an endangered species due to the effects of DDT (a pesticide), bald eagles are an American success story, since they were removed from the list entirely in 2007.  Populations are considered secure and expanding.

- This eagle is considered one of ten species of "sea-eagles" around the globe, and the only one native to North America.

- Bald eagles (named for the white feathered heads of adults) feed primarily on fish (both live and carrion), but have been documented eating many other species from semi-aquatic birds and waterfowl to aquatic reptiles, sea otter pups, white-tailed jackrabbits, raccoons and roadkilled mule deer.  They can be regularly observed stealing fish from the smaller osprey.

- Bald eagles nest early in the year, beginning nest initiation in February.  Their nests are the largest in the animal kingdom, and may exceed 12 feet in depth and 8 feet in width.  They use these nests year after year.  They "mate for life" (are monogamous) until one of the pair dies, and then "mate for life" again with a new mate.

- Two to three eaglets are typically born in early April - early May and fledge by late June - early July.  They are cared for by both adults and the "hen" is typically fed by the male during incubation, although he does some of this as well. 

- Juvenile and immature bald eagles are often confused with adults and juvenile golden eagles, since they lack the white head and tail of adults.  However, they can be easily distinguished from golden eagles by beak size and coloration, lack of feathered legs, and flight.- Benjamin Franklin was not a fan of this bird as our nation's symbol.  Franklin regarded the bald eagle as a cowardly bird of "low moral character," showing even our founders were guilty of nonsensical anthropomorphism.  Bald eagles are neither good nor bad, fill the niche they are meant to fill, and are another blessing of the natural world. 

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