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Florida Boardwalk Animal Fact Sheet
SOUTHERN BALD EAGLE
Haliaeetus leucocephalus leucocephalus

Range:
The southern subspecies of the bald eagle is found primarily in the southeastern U.S.

The destruction of nesting areas and pesticide use has severely reduced Southern Bald Eagle populations. Land clearing and development destroys nesting areas and the use of DDT led to thin shelled eggs that broke before hatching. Egg collecting, poaching, and disturbance of nesting sites continue to be a problem. Protection has become strict concerning nesting and wintering grounds, and the use of certain pesticides.

The bird is monogamous and mates for life and as with most birds of prey, females are distinctly larger than males. In large populations, a lost mate may be quickly replaced. The bald eagle nest is a flat heap of sticks lined with finer nesting materials such as grass, spanish moss, seaweed, pine needles or green leaves, and it is usually located in large dead trees. The nest, called eyries, may be used for many years, with new material being added annually. In the non-breeding season, the nest may serve as a feeding platform and roost site. A single pair may have several nests within their territory. A new nest may measure three feet in diameter and 18 inches deep; old nests may be 10 feet across.

On June 20, 1782, the Bald Eagle was adopted by Congress as the central figure on the Great Seal.


















Habitat: Associated with the coast, lakes and river shores and near other bodies of water where they may feed
Diet: Opportunistic feeder - eats live prey or carrion; fish makes up the greatest part of its diet, but it will also eat mammals, birds and reptiles
Status: On June 28, 2007 the Interior Department took the bald eagle off the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants.

Least Concern (IUCN)
Approximate Dimensions of Adult: Weight: 9 lbs.
Wingspan: 7 to 8 feet
Lifespan: n/a
Reproduction & Offspring: Number of eggs: 1-4 (avg. 2). Incubation: 35 days. Both parents may incubate. Fledge: 10-12 weeks.

 

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