Do these feathers make my beak look big?

Mike Oxley

Cornwall Ontario, Canada

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Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)
The “Bird Show”

Parc Omega, Montebello, Quebec, Canada
August 9, 2011

254 views, 23 “favourites” and 5 features as of 11/2/11. Thank you!

A regal lady, indeed, accepting the puny offerings of the keeper with a sardonic sneer and disdain, but deigning to pose for her admiring audience with quiet dignity and hoping some idjit tries to pet her.

Finally, after all is over and the keeper approaches to return her to the confines of her cage, she expresses her displeasure. One regal raspberry at all concerned.

With thanks to

The bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) is a member of the sea and fish eagle group.


Both male and female adult bald eagles have a blackish-brown back and breast; a white head, neck, and tail; and yellow feet and bill.

Juvenile bald eagles are a mixture of brown and white. They reach full maturity in four to five years.


The female bald eagle is 35 to 37 inches, slightly larger than the male.

Wingspan ranges from 72 to 90 inches.

Bald eagles can fly to an altitude of 10,000 feet. During level flight, they can achieve speeds of about 30 to 35 mph.

Bald eagles weigh from ten to fourteen pounds.

Eagle bones are light, because they are hollow.

The beak, talons, and feathers are made of keratin.

Bald eagles have 7,000 feathers.


Wild bald eagles may live as long as thirty years.

Bald eagles sit at the top of the food chain

Lifting power is about 4 pounds.


Mainly fish, but they will take advantage of carrion (dead and decaying flesh).

The bald eagle is a strong swimmer, but if the water is very cold, it may be overcome by hypothermia.

Hunting area varies from 1,700 to 10,000 acres. Home ranges are smaller where food is present in great quantity.

All eagles are renowned for their excellent eyesight.

Nests are built in large trees near rivers or coasts.

An eagle reaches sexual maturity at around four or five years of age.


Once paired, bald eagles remain together until one dies.

Bald eagles lay from one to three eggs.

The 35 days of incubation duties are shared by both male and female.

Nesting cycle

About 20 weeks

Today, there are an estimated 9,789 breeding pairs of bald eagles.

Eagles molt in patches, taking almost half a year to replace feathers, starting with the head and working downward.

Causes of death

Fatal gun shot wounds, electrocution, poisoning, collisions with vehicles, and starvation.

Sony Alpha 700, Sigma 28 to 300 at 300 mm
iso 200, spot metered, F9.0, 1/500 second

Artwork Comments

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