These Bald Eagles Act Like An Old Married Couple

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The eagle on the left had a fish.  The one on the right made a play for it.  During their struggle, it fell to the ground.

After he dropped his fish, they both just sat there looking so upset!  They kept looking down at the ground, the fish would do a little flopping, but no one picked it up. “It’s all your fault, no we’re are both screwed!”  If they had fingers, they would be pointing.  These eagles were so funny.

The woman behind the lens, capturing this squabble, is LouAnn Adair McLaren.  She always seems to be in the right place at the right time, making it look easy.  It’s not. For years I’ve enjoyed seeing her work on Facebook and thought to share her cute eagle FISH FAIL here, with her permission.  She travels extensively and specializes in North American fish and wildlife.

 

Facts About Bald Eagles from the National Eagle Center:

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In the wild, 70-80% of eagles die before they reach adulthood at five years of age. An eagle that makes it to adulthood might live 20-25 years. In captivity, eagles are known to live much longer, 40+ and up to 50 years, due to a controlled environment, nutrient rich diet and veterinary care.

Bald eagles are found across North America and typically near lakes and rivers.

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Eagles use both monocular and binocular vision, meaning they can use they eyes independently or together depending on what they are looking at.  An eagle eye has two focal points (called “fovea”  [singular] or “foveae”  [plural]) one of which looks forward and the other to the side at about a 45 degree angle. These two foveae allow eagles to see straight ahead and to the side simultaneously. The fovea at 45 degrees is used to view things at long distances. An eagle can see something the size of a rabbit running at three miles away.

Eagles can achieve 30 mph using powerful wing-beats and even faster when diving after prey (stoop). Bald eagles can dive at up to 100 mph; golden eagles at up to 150 mph.

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The average wingspan ranges from 6 to 7.5 feet (182cm-229cm).  Wingspan of an eagle depends on overall size. Eagles in northern parts of their range tend to be larger overall, including a larger wingspan.

How much does a bald eagle weigh?  Weight varies depending on latitude and gender.  Generally, males weigh approximately 25% less than females from the same area. The average weight of a female bald eagle is 10-14 pounds, however there exists great variation depending on where an eagle is from. Southern bald eagles tend to be smaller than those in northern parts of their range. For example in Alaska, females might weigh up to 18 pounds, whereas eagles in Florida can weigh as little as 6-8 pounds.

Bald eagles and other cold weather birds have special circulation in their feet and legs that allow them to withstand very cold temperatures. A complex set of arteries and veins in the leg ensure that most of the heat is ‘exchanged’, before it reaches the exposed legs and feet. This counter-current heat exchange helps to ensure that a minimal amount of heat is lost through blood flowing to the legs and feet.  Bird legs and feet also have little soft tissue, so they don’t require as much warm blood flow. When they need a quick warm up, they can tuck one foot up against their body, underneath all those warm down feathers – a great way to warm up the toes!


 

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