bearriver Blog


Friday, February 8, 2013

Bald Eagle

Tomorrow is Bald Eagle day in Utah, and we're celebrating this majestic bird here on the Refuge as well with all kinds of activities, movies, and presentations.  I'd thought I'd take a quick minute and blog about a few Eagle Fun Facts that maybe you didn't know!

  1. Benjamin Franklin was against having the Bald Eagle as the national bird and symbol of the nation because they so frequently steal from each other.  He, instead, preferred the very wily and smart  (and noble, he felt)  Wild Turkey.
  2. Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) are found ONLY in North America!
  3. Though still protected, due to amazing research and conservation actions, the Bald Eagle is no longer on the Endangered Species list . . . having been removed in 2007, a great success!
  4. Utah hosts 25-30%  (around 1200-1300) of the wintering Bald Eagles in the lower 48 states. Last winter of 2011-2012, the Refuge's high count was 180 eagles!
  5. Bald Eagle's second favorite food if they can't nab fish . . . is the slow flying American coot.
  6. Both eagles in a pair will build their nest together . . . but it's the female that picks the tree.
  7. Obviously, Bald eagles aren't truly "bald" . . . the word comes from the old english word, balde,  meaning white.
  8. The Golden eagle - another local eagle - is actually not the Bald eagle's closest relative. The "Baldie's" closest cousins are other sea or fish-eating eagles:  the African fish-eagle (Haliaeetus vocifer) of sub-Saharan Africa and the white-tailed sea-eagle(Haliaeetus albicilla) of Eurasia.

HAPPY BALD EAGLE DAY  and Happy Birding

 - Jason

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