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American Bald eagle

Context:

The American bald eagle (National bird of the US since 1782) was taken off the endangered species list in 2007. Since then, their population has steadily increased, which is considered as one of the biggest success stories in the history of conservation.

Relevance:

GS III: Environment and Ecology

Bald Eagles: Key Facts

Scientific Name: Haliaeetus leucocephalus

Natural Range:

  • Bald eagles are found throughout most of North America, including Canada, the continental United States, and northern Mexico.
  • They have a wide distribution across their natural range.

Endemism:

  • The bald eagle is the only sea eagle species endemic to North America.
  • It is an iconic symbol of the United States.

Life Span:

  • The average life span of bald eagles is typically between 20 to 30 years.
  • However, some individuals have been known to live longer.

Nesting Behavior:

  • Bald eagles construct their nests at the tops of tall trees to protect their eggs.
  • These nests, called eyries, are built using sticks and other natural materials.

Sexual Dimorphism:

  • Female bald eagles tend to be larger in size than males.
  • This difference in size is a characteristic of sexual dimorphism.

Diet:

  • Bald eagles primarily feed on live fish, which is a significant part of their diet.
  • They also prey on other birds, small mammals, snakes, turtles, crabs, and readily consume carrion (decaying flesh of dead animals).

Conservation Status:

  • IUCN Status: Least Concern
  • Bald eagles have made a remarkable recovery in their population numbers, thanks to conservation efforts and legal protections.

-Source: Indian Express


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