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Bald Eagle

Bald eagle

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Scientific classification
Binomial name
Haliaeetus leucocephalus
The Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus[?] leucocephalus †) is a raptor that breeds in Canada and the USA, and is the national symbol of the latter country. The species was on the brink of extinction late in the 20th century but has largely recovered and now has a stable population.

Adult females have a wingspan of approximately two meters (6 feet 6 inches); adult males are approximately two-thirds the size of the females.

Bald Eagles are sexually mature at 4 or 5 years of age. Mated pairs produce between one and three eggs per year, but it is rare for all three chicks to successfully fledge. Thus, third chicks are sometimes removed from nests to use in reintroduction[?] programs in areas where the species has died out.

In such programs, the birds are raised in boxes, on platforms in the tree canopy, and fed in such a way that they cannot see the person supplying their food, until they are old enough to fly and thus find their own food.

Bald Eagles which are old enough to nest often return to the area in which they were raised. They are more social than many other raptor species: an adult eagle looking for a nesting site is more likely to select a location that contains other immature eagles than one with no eagle population.

The Bald Eagle's diet is varied, including fish, smaller birds, rodents, and sometimes food scavenged or stolen from campsites and picnics.

This species has occurred as a vagrant once in Ireland.

Haliaeetus: New Latin from Greek haliaetos (a sea eagle);
leucocephalus: Greek leukos (white) and kephale (head).

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