This image is especially done for a good friend of mine who is an avid bald eagle image collector.
Having given calendars to family and close friends, he noticed there were no eagles in it!!…
And so this and the next few eagle images I do will be dedicated to a good friend of mine…
Mike Bacorn of Sacramento CA.
The Bald Eagle is a powerful flier, and soars on thermal convection currents. It reaches speeds of 56–70 kilometers per hour (35–43 mph) when gliding and flapping, and about 48 kilometers per hour (30 mph) while carrying fish. Its dive speed is between 120–160 kilometers per hour (75–99 mph), though it seldom dives vertically. It is partially migratory, depending on location. If its territory has access to open water, it remains there year-round, but if the body of water freezes during the winter, making it impossible to obtain food, it migrates to the south or to the coast.
The Bald Eagle selects migration routes which take advantage of thermals, updrafts, and food resources. During migration, it may ascend in a thermal and then glide down, or may ascend in updrafts created by the wind against a cliff or other terrain. Migration generally takes place during the daytime, when thermals are produced by the sun.
The Bald Eagle’s diet is opportunistic and varied, but most feed mainly on fish. In the Pacific Northwest, spawning trout and salmon provide most of the Bald Eagles’ diet.
Locally, eagles may rely largely on carrion, especially in winter, and they will scavenge carcasses up to the size of whales, though it seems that carcasses of ungulates and large fish are preferred.
They also may sometimes feed on subsistence scavenged or stolen from campsites and picnics, as well as garbage dumps. Mammalian prey includes rabbits, hares, raccoons, muskrats, beavers, and deer fawns. Preferred avian prey includes grebes, alcids, ducks, gulls, coots, egrets, and geese. Most live prey are quite a bit smaller than the eagle, but predatory attacks on large birds such as the Great Blue Heron and even swans have been recorded. Reptiles, amphibians and crustaceans (especially crabs) are preyed on when available.
With a freshly caught fish.To hunt fish, easily their most important live prey, the eagle swoops down over the water and snatches the fish out of the water with its talons. They eat by holding the fish in one claw and tearing the flesh with the other. Eagles have structures on their toes called spiricules that allow them to grasp fish. Osprey also have this adaptation.
Bald Eagles have powerful talons and have been recorded flying with a 15-pound Mule Deer fawn. Sometimes, if the fish is too heavy to lift, the eagle will be dragged into the water. It may swim to safety, but some eagles drown or succumb to hypothermia.
When competing for food, eagles will usually dominate other fish-eaters and scavengers, aggressively displacing mammals such as coyotes and foxes, and birds such as corvids, gulls, vultures and other raptors.
Bald Eagles may be displaced by themselves or by Golden Eagles. Neither species is known to be dominant, and the outcome depends on the individual animal. Occasionally, Bald Eagles will steal fish and other prey away from smaller raptors, such as Ospreys, a practice known as kleptoparasitism.
Healthy adult Bald Eagles are not preyed on in the wild and are thus considered apex predators. In one case, an adult eagle investigating a Peregrine Falcon nest for prey items sustained a concussion from a swooping parent Peregrine, and ultimately died days later from it.
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