Alaska Series: Bald Eagles

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This summary on the majestic bald eagles, symbol of our nation, will hopefully possess enough fun facts to help you appreciate these neat birds even more. We were privileged enough to view eagles and their fledglings in action. Fledglings look bigger than the adults because of their plumage. They start out a dark brown color & are almost blackish looking (which often gets them confused with golden eagles.)

Bald eagles get their white “bald” head look once they’re 3-5 years old. Their life span can last all the way up to 50 years! Also, female eagles are always larger than males & are the main ones hunting for food to feed the fledglings. Since they’re raptors (birds of prey) they scoop up their prey (which are mainly fish) with their impressive talons. In Alaska, the main fish of choice is of course, salmon. The rear talons on an eagle’s foot make its grasp unforgiving & they can measure up to 3 inches long each. Their wing span is usually seven to eight feet.

Bald eagle nests are huge & can weigh up to 800 pounds…which is incredible, considering the nests are typically constructed up at the tops of trees where the branches aren’t as sturdy! Next time you’re in Alaska, where bald eagles are commonly seen since 80% of the nation’s population is found there, keep an eye out for these amazing creatures & their habitats!

-Katie

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