Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)
What can we say about the Bald Eagle that hasn’t already been said? This majestic eagle is both the national bird and national animal of the United States of America. The Latin name (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) refers to a white headed sea eagle, which they are.
Bald Eagles have brown feathers when young and their heads and tails turn white between the ages of 2-5. Its range includes most of Canada and Alaska, all of the contiguous United States, and northern Mexico. You can see our Bald Eagle, Franklin, in Eagle Mesa at the Living Coast, and experience a feeding at 2:30 p.m. daily.
But you probably knew that! Here are some lesser known Bald Eagle facts:
- A captive eagle at West Stephentown, NY lived to be at least 48 years old but average lifespan is 15-20 years.
- Bald Eagles run hot, about 106 degrees Fahrenheit
- Eagles do not sweat, so they perch in the shade, pant, and hold their wings away from their body to keep cool
- Female Bald Eagles are about 25% larger than males and their beaks are deeper (distance from top to chin) than males.
- The Bald Eagle has a remarkable ecological history. Though they have been protected since 1918, Bald Eagles became an Endangered Species in 1967. They were removed from the Endangered list in 1995, added to the Threatened list in 1999, and removed completely in 2007
- Franklin is unreleasable back into the wild due to an extensive injury to his right wing that prevents him from flying or hunting so he lives here at the Living Coast
- Our Bald Eagle can be found at the Living Coast in Eagle Mesa and on Twitter @EagleLCDC