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Bald Eagle | by ship rock
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Bald Eagle

Long-lived, opportunistic carnivore, scavenger and thief - feeding mainly on fish, also on mammals and birds. But none the less, a most majestic creature! National Emblem of the United States, deservedly so. Large numbers of them best seen during the salmon spawn along the Chilkat in southeast Alaska and at Harrison Mills, BC. After the spawn in BC, many migrate to Boundary Bay where water birds are abundant at that time.

 

Scientific name translates to: Sea eagle, white-headed. Common across most of North America; most abundant along Pacific Coast, large lakes and rivers. Second largest of the North American raptors (length 3', wingspan 7', weight 10 lb.); California Condor being largest. We call them 'bald' (short-changing 'piebald').

 

This one is a youngster as the dark brown head, dark eyes and beak foretell. It is currently scavenging Chum salmon born at Eagle Creek here in Burnaby, BC, that then migrated to spend their lives at sea, and that just recently returned to spawn, and that now are returning to Mother Nature here in the middle of the city. Remarkable!

 

Nest: huge, up to a ton or two of large branches, in the largest and tallest look-out tree. One brood; two eggs, 3" in size; incubation 1 month; fledging another 2 months; juveniles stay with parents still another 2 months.

 

Adults have bright yellow eyes, beaks and feet. Females 25% larger than males. Sometimes seen swimming using the wings as oars, rowing or breast-stroking. Often seen circling upwards to great heights on thermals, then gliding long distant. Call is an un-regal series of short piercing whistles.

 

Click on image for larger view

 

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Uploaded on December 6, 2018