Bald Eagle Haliaeetus leucocephalus

  • Order: Accipitriformes
  • Family: Accipitridae
  • Polytypic: 2 subspecies
  • Authors needed...

The Bald Eagle is the largest species of raptor throughout its distribution and probably, as an adult, one the most distinctive birds in its range. It is found from the subartctic throughout North America and to the northernmost edges of the subtropics in Baja California, the Gulf Coast and Florida where it inhabits a wide range of habitats that always adjoin larger bodies of water. In many parts of its range, fish are its primary prey item, but it is well known for its predilection for scavenging carcasses and stealing other animals' kills. In the 1960s the Bald Eagle was on the brink of extinction in the continental United States and population numbered only around 1000 due to the effects of DDT on their reproductive cycle. Since the banishment of the pesticide from US markets, the species has effectively doubled its population every seven to eight years and is now common in many parts of North America.

Help complete this species

There are many ways to contribute—we need species information, photographs, audio, video, translations, maps, distribution data, and bird sightings. There's a role for everyone!

Learn more

© Gerrit Vyn

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: