Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Bald Eagle

This is Liberty, the female Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) at Liberty's Owl, Raptor and Reptile Centre. The centre, which was named after her, is located in Ringwood, Hampshire. This shot was taken in February 2014 on a visit with SUPS.

The Bald Eagle is a sea eagle that can be found throughout North America, especially near to coasts, rivers, large lakes or marshes. Their wingspan is typically between 1.8 and 2.3 metres (5.9 and 7.5 feet), and the females are around 25% larger than males.

The majority of their diet is comprised of fish, which they catch by swooping low over bodies of water and grabbing with their talons. They will also hunt other birds, small mammals and reptiles. They live on average for around 20 years.

The Bald Eagle was once endangered due to pesticides and hunting. It was placed under protection in 1918, and this plus the banning of the pesticide DDT in 1978 have led to populations flourishing again. It was reclassified from "endangered" to "threatened" in 1995, and de-listed completely in 2007.

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