These iconic birds have four distinct maturation stages, each lasting one year. Once 4 or 5 years old the adult bird has yellow eyes and yellow hooked bill, white head and tail and a brown body. Bald eagles are monogamous, remaining with one mate until a pair member dies. Bald eagles perform flight displays with their mate. During the display, they clasp talons in mid-air, spin while plummeting to the ground and release before impact. Males and females build a nest of sticks together usually at the top of a tree. Numbers were as low as 500 nesting pairs during the mid-1900’s mainly due to insecticides such as DDT. DDT impacted severely on the bald eagle causing deformities, neurological damage and most significantly brittle eggshells. Since DDT was banned in 1972 the population has rebounded with 70,000 pairs in North America. The bald eagle recovery is recognized as a conservation success story and illustrates what the cooperation of governmental and non-governmental agencies can achieve when working together to save a species.
Bald Eagles lay 1-3 eggs, both parents help to incubate the eggs. If food is plentiful it is more likely that all chicks will survive. Young birds fledge after about 12 weeks but will remain with the parents for another month.
Global climate change. This national symbol of the United States is projected to have only 25% of their original summer range remain in 2080. Other threats include contamination from coal power plants.