Boreal Birds
300+ species, billions of birds rely on Canada's boreal forest as critical breeding grounds
© Yathin S Krishnappa/Wikimedia Commons (CC 3.0)

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle
Haliaeetus leucocephalus
Hawk-like Birds | Family: Hawks and Eagles, Accipitridae

An estimated 16% of the species' North American population breeds within the Boreal Forest.

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Overview

Bald Eagles are fish eaters, like Ospreys; when they pursue their prey they rarely enter the water as an Osprey does, but instead snatch the fish from the surface with their talons. Where Ospreys are common, the eagles obtain much of their food by stealing it from the smaller "fish hawk."  The Bald Eagle is also the national bird of the United States.

Description

30-31" (76-79 cm). W. 6-7' 6" (1.8-2.3 m). A large blackish eagle with white head and tail and heavy yellow bill. Young birds lack the white head and tail, and resemble adult Golden Eagles, but are variably marked with white and have a black, more massive bill.

Voice

Squeaky cackling and thin squeals.

Nesting

2 or 3 white eggs in a massive nest of sticks in a tall tree or, less frequently, on top of a cliff.

Habitat

Lakes, rivers, marshes, and seacoasts.

Range/Migration

Breeds from Alaska east to Newfoundland and south locally to California, Great Lakes, and Virginia; also in Arizona, along Gulf Coast, and in Florida. Formerly more widespread. Winters along coasts and large rivers in much of United States.