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: 16.5 years according to AZA Species Survival Statistics

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 Date of Birth April 1996 
Colden (Male) – Estimated Date of Birth Between May & June 2005
Spirit (Male) – Estimated Date of Birth 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 unflighted 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:

Known for being the national bird of the United States, these eagles are well known for the white feathers that adorn their head. Adults make massive nests weighing upwards of 2,000 pounds that they return to every year to roost and hatch another brood. While they are known for primarily eating fish, they have also been reported harassing smaller raptors – such as osprey – into dropping their food. While originally a very prominent species across the North American continent, by the mid-1900s bald eagles started becoming much more rare. This is due to them being the victim of trapping, hunting, and side-effects from various pesticides causing reproductive issues. Thankfully, initiatives were started and in 1973 they were listed as a protected species under the Endangered Species Act! Through this, dangerous pesticides were banned and reproduction programs began. And with the help of conservation organization and zoos, by the 1990s the Bald Eagle population had stabilized, and in 2007 it was at a comfortable enough size to be removed from the list of endangered species!

Did You Know?!

  • Unlike older bald eagles who make a nest that they return to every year, younger bald eagles are known for being more nomadic. In fact, they can fly hundreds of miles every single day while exploring! 
  • Bald eagles can fly up to 10,000 feet up in the air. 
  • Since the call of a bald eagle – which has been described as being like a high-pitched laugh – was deemed too awkward and raspy for the call of America’s signature bird, film directors often replace their call with the more majestic one of a red-tailed hawk in movies. 

The Utica Zoo will be closed at 1:00pm on 8/3 for BREWFEST and will reopen with normal hours on 8/4!