Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Bald Eagle Haliaeetus leucocephalus

Bald Eagle Haliaeetus leucocephalus
Despite its fame, the Bald Eagle is rare. The victim of poisoning by pesticides, chiefly DDT, the species suffered a catastrophic decline; the outlawing of some poisons has helped to maintain these birds. The Bald Eagle is also shot illegally in many places, and in some areas its wetland habitat has been destroyed. Today, large numbers of these magnificent birds are found only in carefully patrolled wildlife refuges.

Identification 30-43". Very large, brown, hawklike bird with white head and tail and stout, hooked yellow bill. Immature variable, but with dark head and tail and black bill.

Voice A series of squeaky, thin cackling or chittering notes.

Habitat Seacoasts, lakes, rivers, and marshes.

Range Breeds in forested areas of Alaska and Canada south to Oregon, N. Idaho, Great Lakes area, and N. New England; also locally along Atlantic and Gulf coasts and in Florida. Winters from S. Canada south, especially along major river systems of the interior.

Bald Eagle Haliaeetus leucocephalus

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