Bald Eagle

Basic Information:

Scientific Name: Haliaeetus leucocephalus

Habitat: Bald Eagles are found all throughout North America from the Mexican border through the United States and all the way up to Northern Canada and Alaska. 

Diet: Bald Eagles primarily eat fish, but can also be found eating waterfowl, shorebirds, colonial waterbirds, small mammals, turtles, and carrion

Size: 2.5 to 3 feet tall / 6.5 foot wingspan

Weight: 6.6 to 14 pounds

Lifespan: 20 to 30 years in the wild. Up to 50 years in human care. 

Distribution Map:

I.U.C.N. Conservation Status:

What does this mean?

Least Concern – a species determined by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (I.U.C.N.) to be pervasive, abundant, and thriving.

Our Bald Eagles:

Ginger (Female) – Estimated Birthdate April 1996 
Colden (Male) – Estimated Birthdate Between May & June 2005
Spirit (Male) – Estimated Birthdate 2003

*All of our eagles were born in the wild and injured. After they were deemed non-releasable due to being either partially flighted or unlighted from their injuries they came to the Utica Zoo. Spirit is usually on the ground (being unflighted) while Ginger and Colden are higher up (being partially flighted).*

About Bald Eagles:

Once abundant in North America, Bald Eagles became rare in the mid-to -late 1900s—the victim of trapping, shooting, and poisoning as well as pesticide-caused reproductive failures. In 1978 the bird was listed under the Endangered Species Act. Since 1980, with the banning of DDT (the bird’s main pesticide threat) there has been a dramatic resurgence. By the late 1990s, breeding populations could be found throughout most of North America. In 2007, the bird’s recovery prompted its removal from the Endangered Species list.

Did You Know?!

  • Immature bald eagles spend the first four years of their lives in nomadic exploration of vast territories and can fly hundreds of miles per day.
  • Bald eagles will wait for an osprey to return to its nest with a fish in its talons for its own young, then harasses the smaller raptor until it is forced to drop its prey for the eagle to retrieve.
  • Bald eagles can fly up to 10,000 feet up in the air. 
  • Bald eagles build the biggest nest of all North American birds. These nests can be between 13 feet deep and 8 feet wide and can weigh up to 2,000 pounds!