- Posted July 4, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Travel photo of the day
American Bald Eagle
The bald eagle is our national bird and is the only eagle unique to North America. The bald eagle's scientific name signifies a sea eagle with a white head. At one time, the word "bald" meant "white," not hairless. Bald eagles are found throughout most of North America, from Alaska and Canada to northern Mexico. About half of the world's 70,000 bald eagles live in Alaska. Combined with British Columbia's population of about 20,000, the northwest coast of North America is by far their greatest stronghold for bald eagles. They flourish here in part because of the salmon. Dead or dying fish are an important food source for all bald eagles.
Eagles are a member of the Accipitridae family; which also includes hawks, kites, and old-world vultures.
Scientists loosely divide eagles into four groups based on their physical characteristics and behavior. The bald eagle is a sea or fish eagle. There are two subspecies of bald eagles. The "southern" bald eagle found in the Gulf States from Texas and Baja California across to South Carolina and Florida, south of 40 degrees north latitude. The "northern" bald eagle found north of 40 degrees north latitude across the entire continent. The largest numbers of northern bald eagles are in the Northwest, especially in Alaska. The "northern" bald eagle is slightly larger than the "southern" bald eagle.
Enjoy these photos of the American Bald Eagle.