Interesting Bald Eagle Facts

There are so many interesting facts people should know about the American bald eagle. They are worth remembering and sharing with others.

1. An average adult bald eagle weighs about nine pounds and is about three feet in height.

2. The wingspan of an eagle measures from 5.5 to 7.5 feet.

3. A pair of bald eagles from Florida is credited for building the largest nest that measures six meters deep, four meters wide and weighs nearly three tons.

4. The bald eagle is not actually bald. It got its name from “piebald” meaning spotty or patchy which aptly describes the bald eagle with its brown body and white head and tail. In addition, the word bald is actually derived from an Old English term “balde” meaning white.

5. Did you know that bald eagles have remarkably good eyesight? They can see four to seven times better than people. They can see things from a very far distance of up to one mile. This characteristic enables them to search for their food high up in the sky or from a perch in a tree or cliff.

6. Bald eagles are also called American eagles, fishing eagles, Washington eagles and white-headed eagles.

7. Bald eagles breathe with their lungs and air sac system. They breathe through the openings on the side of their beaks called “nares.”

8. Eagles do not have vocal cords. They make a high-pitched, shrill squeaking and screeching sounds via the air that passes the bones in their neck. Specifically, the sound is created the area where the windpipe is separated going to the lungs. The eagle’s calls are made to deepen the bond between married eagles or to warn predators not to pass their territory. The screaming sounds of eagles you hear in the movies are actually those of the red-tailed hawk used to provide a dramatic effect.

9. Bald eagles can fly at approximately 30 miles per hour and can dive at 100 miles per hour.

10. Female American eagles are larger than their male counterparts. The female’s height range from 35 to 37 inches with a wingspan of 79 to 90 inches. The males are between 30 to 34 inches tall with a wingspan of 72 to 85 inches.

11. Bald eagles have long and broad wings making them capable of high flying. They have an estimated 7,000 feathers which are lightweight but very strong and flexible. The feathers also act as their protection against heat and cold as they trap layers of air.

12. The beak and feathers of American eagles are made of keritan, the same material that makes up human hair and nails. The bird’s beak has a hook at the tip with an upper mandible behind it used to slice through thick skin. The beak has other uses apart from eating. Though a strong and sharp weapon, it can take care of its mate’s feathers or feed an eaglet.

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