The Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) is a powerful and majestic bird of prey, widely recognized as the national symbol of the United States. Visit our Elm Creek Backyard exhibit to witness these awe-inspiring raptors up close. Let’s explore their diet, habitat, size, and conservation status, as well as some fascinating facts that make the Bald Eagle a truly iconic species.
Bald Eagles are primarily piscivorous, meaning that their diet consists mainly of fish. They are opportunistic feeders, also preying on birds, reptiles, amphibians, and small mammals when fish are scarce. Bald Eagles are skilled hunters, using their exceptional eyesight and powerful talons to snatch prey from the water or the ground.
Bald Eagles inhabit a variety of aquatic environments, including lakes, rivers, marshes, and coastal areas, throughout North America. They can be found from Alaska and Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, and from the Pacific to the Atlantic coasts. Bald Eagles prefer habitats with tall trees or cliffs for nesting and perching, as well as access to abundant food sources.
Size and Weight
Bald Eagles are large birds of prey, with a wingspan ranging from 6 to 7.5 feet (1.8 to 2.3 meters). Their body length typically measures between 28 to 40 inches (71 to 102 cm), and they weigh between 6.5 to 14 pounds (3 to 6.3 kg). Females are generally larger and heavier than males.
The Bald Eagle is currently listed as “Least Concern” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. After facing severe declines due to habitat loss, persecution, and pesticide exposure in the mid-20th century, the Bald Eagle has made a remarkable recovery, thanks to rigorous conservation efforts and the banning of harmful pesticides like DDT.
Visit the Bald Eagle at the Abilene Zoo
During your visit to the Abilene Zoo, be sure to stop by our Elm Creek Backyard exhibit to observe the magnificent Bald Eagle. By learning about their unique adaptations, hunting prowess, and the important role they play in the ecosystem, you’ll gain a newfound appreciation for this bird of prey