Bald Eagles are a majestic sight to behold and obviously carry a large amount of symbolism to our neighbours to the south. Despite their name, these eagles are not actually bald but bear a resemblance to a bald head with their snow-white coloured head placed atop their chocolate coloured brown body and wings.
After spotting a few of these beautiful birds over the past month or so, we thought it would be awful fitting to put together a quick and informative guide illustrating 5 interesting facts about America’s favorite bird.
They Nest like a Boss
Bald eagles nest on a very large scale. While it is said that most nests can come in weighing in at around a ton in weight, the largest Bald Eagle nest on record was 2.9 meters in diameter and 6.1 meters tall. There is also another wine-glass-shaped nest in Ohio that weighed close to two metric tons!
Are Strong Rowers
These birds have never been thought of as strong swimmers, but according to the Cornell Lad of Ornithology, bald eagles can sit in the water and row themselves using their wings. At a 7 foot wingspan, that is one big paddle!
Always Skip the Salad
Also known as “fish eagles”, these birds derive this nickname by making fish their main source of food. The bald eagle is a carnivore and also dines on smaller birds, bird eggs, reptiles, crabs and rabbits.
Almost Didn’t Make the Cut
Benjamin Franklin was a big opponent to naming the bald eagle America’s bird. He believed that bald eagles had thieving tendencies and was quite vulnerable to smaller birds stating: “For my own part,” he wrote, “I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the Representative of our Country. He is a Bird of bad moral Character. He does not get his living honestly. … Besides he is a rank Coward: The little King Bird not bigger than a Sparrow attacks him boldly and drives him out of the District.”
They Go the Distance
As far as birds go, the bald eagle is one of the longer-living birds on the planet in terms of life expectancy. Today’s record is 28 years of age in the wild and 36 years in captivity.