The Bald eagle is the only eagle unique to the North American continent. It was in 1782 when America’s founding fathers chose the Bald eagle as the nation’s symbol of freedom. The Bald eagle’s Latin name, Haleaeetus leucocephalus, translates to ‘white-headed sea eagle.’
These large, powerful birds of prey have incredibly keen eyesight, a great hooked beak, sharp talons, and a broad wingspan that can reach up to 8 feet, with the females growing larger than the males.
The life of a Bald eagle starts in the nest. A suitable nest is important for these birds, as it must be built in a large, sturdy tree close to an adequate source of food. Since Bald eagle’s diets are made up of mostly fish, the nests are most likely built near bodies of water, such as rivers.
Bald eagles build the largest nests of any other species of birds in North America. Their nests can range anywhere from 5 to 10 feet (1.5 to 3 meters) in diameter, and have been found weighing up to almost 2 tons! The nests usually take a couple weeks for the eagles to complete, and a pair of eagles will spend much of their time preparing the nest before actually laying any eggs. Bald eagles may use the same nest multiple times for a few years, and will keep adding to their nest, making it larger over time. If their nesting area is disturbed too often, they will abandon the nest and rebuild somewhere else.
These eagles mate for life, typically only searching for another mate if their first mate has died or has been unsuccessful at laying eggs. Once a pair of eagles has successfully mated, the female will lay anywhere from 1 to 3 pale beige or white, tennis ball-sized eggs in the nest, which then the mother, and sometimes even the father will watch over and incubate these eggs for a little over a month until they hatch.
Once broken out of the egg, the newborn chicks are exhausted, nearly blind, and are unable to regulate their body temperature. These chicks are very dependent on their parents to supply them with food, warmth, and protection from the elements. They are covered in greyish-white down feathers, with dark grey colored beaks. Eagle chicks will stay in the nest for 10 to 12 weeks, until they are ready to learn to fly and leave the nest.
Commemorate the Bald eagle with one of these individually numbered coins.
Geokolikon halkaisija noin 44 mm.
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