August 1, 2009; Yellowstone River;Yellowstone National Park.From Wikipedia:
The Bald Eagle
Greek hali = salt, aeetus = eagle, leuco = white, cephalis = head) is a bird of prey
found in North America. It is the national bird
of the United States of America and appears on its Seal
. This sea eagle
has two known sub-species and forms a species pair
with the White-tailed Eagle
. Its range includes most of Canada and Alaska, all of the contiguous United States
, and northern Mexico. It is found near large bodies of open water with an abundant food supply and old-growth trees for nesting.
Its diet consists mainly of fish
, but it is an opportunistic feeder. It hunts fish by swooping down and snatching them out of the water with its talons. It is sexually mature at four years or five years of age. The Bald Eagle builds the largest nest
of any North American bird, up to 4 meters (13 ft) deep, 2.5 meters (8.2 ft) wide, and one metric ton
) in weight.
The adult Bald Eagle is mainly brown with a white head and tail. The sexes are identical in plumage
, but females are larger than males. The beak
is large and hooked. The plumage of the immature is brown. Bald Eagles are not actually bald
, the name derives from the older meaning of the word, "white headed".
In the late 20th century the Bald Eagle was on the brink of extirpation
in the continental United States, while flourishing in much of Alaska and Canada. Populations recovered and stabilized, so the species was removed from the U.S. federal government's
list of endangered species
and transferred to the list of threatened species
on July 12, 1995, and it was removed from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife in the Lower 48
States on June 28, 2007.