The Bald Eagle dwarfs most other raptors, including the Turkey Vulture and Red-tailed Hawk. For example, the largest northern male eagle may be as big as or even bigger than the smallest southern female. Will form groups during the nonbreeding season, when different age classes can be seen together. These birds mate for life, many times not even choosing another mate when one of the pair passes on. The amount of white feathering can be highly variable on juveniles and second year birds. Most bald eagles can breed at 4 or 5 years of age, but many do not start breeding until much older. Adult Bald Eagles have white heads and tails with dark brown bodies and wings. The most obvious differences between male and female Bald eagles are their size. Many times these differences are not even discernable to human ears. The Bald Eagle has been the national emblem of the United States since 1782 and a spiritual symbol for native people for far longer than that. The eyes are a dark brown and the bill is dark with some yellow. Sometimes the only way to actually tell the difference between the two would be a physical examination or DNA feather testing. It has a heavy body, large head, and long, hooked bill. If you’d like to see these characteristics in person, schedule a visit to the CPN Eagle Aviary by calling Jennifer Randell at 405-275-3121. There are also subtle differences in their vocalizations. The larger size in females is also a great deterrent for predators approaching the nest. In flight, a Bald Eagle holds its broad wings flat like a board. Amount of white in the wings is variable on juveniles. Builds huge stick nests in trees, usually some distance below the top of the tree. Juveniles are mottled brown and white, with dark heads. Even for tribal members and visitors to the CPN Eagle Aviary, the opportunity to see an eagle up close is a moving experience.
guess at them). For a chance to see large Bald Eagle congregations, check out wildlife refuges or large bodies of water in winter over much of the continent, or fish processing plants and dumpsters year-round in coastal Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. The tail is also mottled with a dark band at the tip. Second year birds are strongly mottled brown and white. The Bald Eagle has been the national emblem of the United States since 1782 and a spiritual symbol for native people for far longer than that. After all, when you begin to include all the possible plumages, you find that bald eagles may show dark heads with dark bellies, white heads with dark bellies, or dark heads with white bellies. Third year birds have a mostly white belly, with some brown mottling, a brown chest, and a broad brown mask on the face. With the female’s larger size, this generally means a larger hooked beak and a hallux (back, largest talon) that can reach over three inches in length. Hawks, Eagles, and Kites(Order: Accipitriformes, Family:Accipitridae). Their tails can be dark, white, or some of each. Adult bald eagles have the dark brown body and distinctive white head and tail. “Bergmann’s rule”, makes things a bit more complicated: Bald eagles living farther north (in Canada or Alaska, for example) should be larger than those in the southern United States. This characteristic of the females being larger can be seen in all birds of prey. The bald eagle above is one year old and is a dark brown over all, the chest and back are a bit lighter. For most people, catching a glimpse of the American Bald Eagle is a rare event. When perched appears very large, with brown body and contrasting white head and bright yellow bill. Very large raptor with long, broad wings. Females will typically have a wingspan of up to eight feet. Look for them soaring in solitude, chasing other birds for their food, or gathering by the hundreds in winter. Constructs enormous stick nests, usually in large trees. The size difference fits perfectly for their duties; males’ smaller, sleeker body enables them to be slightly better hunters and the females’ larger size allows her to sit for longer periods on the nest. Look for Bald Eagles near lakes, reservoirs, rivers, marshes, and coasts. The word “bald” is an archaic old world reference from the word “piebald”, meaning marked with white. Despite their name, bald eagles are actually not bald at all. The only difference between adult birds is the size. Get Instant ID help for 650+ North American birds. Many of these unique characteristics and personalities can be witnessed everyday here at the CPN Eagle Aviary. Large head just out ahead of the wings as far or farther than tail trails behind. The scientific term for this size phenomenon is known as “reverse sexual size dimorphism.” The females do the majority of the incubation when it comes to nesting, and the males do the hunting. In contrast, juvenile bald eagles have mottled brown and white plumage. Females are usually a third of the size larger than males. While there is a good deal of variation in size throughout its range, overall, females bald eagles are 25% larger than males. Their legs and bills are bright yellow. Whereas the males weigh between five to ten pounds less, with a wingspan reaching up to six feet. Bald Eagles take about 5.5 years to mature to the typical white head and tail and solidly dark chocolate brown body, legs and wing feathers of an adult. Fourth year birds look like adults with some brown feathers on the otherwise white head. The Cornell Lab will send you updates about birds, birding, and opportunities to help bird conservation. Juveniles have a brown body with brown and white mottled wings. A question often asked is whether female bald eagles also have white heads. CPN member seeks to increase accessibility to culturally-important plants through graduate research. They gradually acquire the adult plumage as they mature, which takes about five years. Look for them soaring in solitude, chasing other birds for their food, or gathering by the hundreds in winter. The word “bald” is an archaic old world reference from the word “piebald”, meaning marked with white. Another notable fact among Bald eagle females is their dominant personality and protective nature.