Bald Eagle Time By: Wes Tallyn

Bald eagles range throughout all of North America. Some bald eagles migrate, much like other birds, to Florida for the Winter months. They can be found pretty regularly throughout the state from October through May. Bald eagles typically nest in mature pine trees near a water source, but also have a habit of nesting in cell phone towers. They make large nests out of sticks they find or grasses they pick up off of the ground.

Eagles are very opportunistic feeders eating everything from small mammals to fish. Eagles often will wait for ospreys to catch fish and then harass the ospreys until they drop their meal. This is a strategy to conserve energy and assert its dominance. They can also be scavengers eating dead marine animals or even just sitting down at a landfill and picking through garbage.

Bald eagles are well known for their characteristic white head and tail feathers. Juvenile bald eagles actually don’t develop the white feathers that make them so well known until about their fourth year. The juveniles are mostly all black with yellow feet and yellow bills.

This time of year is a great time to look up for eagles!  If you see them circling above, you will notice the all-dark chest which distinguishes it from an osprey with a white chest. The white head and tail are also very visible in flight. If you’re looking for them in the trees, look for them in a tall tree with a good view over the landscape. So, grab a camera or pair of binoculars and see if you can see one soon!

 

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