Bald Eagle

Haliaeetus leucocephalus

Scientific Name

Bald Eagle:  
Haliaeetus leucocephalus

Distribution and Habitat

Geographic Range

The Bald Eagle resides in most of Canada and Alaska, all of the contiguous United States, and northern Mexico.

Natural Habitat

They are found in wetland habitats such as seacoasts, rivers, large lakes, marshes or other large bodies of open water with an abundance of fish. They can also be found in drier regions in the southern part of their range. They prefer coniferous or hardwood trees for perching, roosting, and nesting.

Physical Characteristics

  • An adult bald eagle is dark brown with a white head and tail. The tail is long and wedge-shaped. Males and females are identical in coloration but females are larger than males. Their beaks, feet and irises are bright yellow. They have no feathers on their legs. The talons are large and powerful.

Quick Facts

  1. Bald Eagles build some of the largest, heaviest bird nests in the world. A pair will add to the size of their nest during each nesting season.

  2. Bald Eagles are not bald. Their name comes from the old English word “balde,” which means white and refers to their white feathers.

  3. The Bald Eagle is both the national bird and national animal of the United States of America. The Bald Eagle appears on the Great Seal of the United States.


Arctic Edge

Conservation Status

Least Concern: The Bald Eagle is common or abundant and is likely to survive in the wild.

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The Bald Eagle is a carnivore with the ability to capture a great variety of prey. Fish often comprise the majority of the eagle’s diet along with crustaceans, reptiles, amphibians, small mammals and carrion.