A North American species with a historic range from Alaska and Canada to northern Mexico, the bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) is an Endangered Species Act success story.
Distinguished by a white head and white tail feathers, bald eagles are powerful, brown birds that may weigh 14 pounds and have a wingspan of 8 feet. Male eagles are smaller. Eagles mate for life, choosing the tops of large trees to build nests, which they typically use and enlarge each year. Nests may reach 10 feet across and weigh a half ton.
Florida has one of the largest populations of Bald Eagles
in the contiguous United States, second only to Minnesota,
with approximately 1,200 nesting pairs. In 1995 the federal
government down-listed the status of Bald Eagles to threatened,
and the birds were removed from the Endangered Species List
in August 2007. They continue to be protected by the Bald
and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty