Eagle Biology

//Eagle Biology
Eagle Biology

How much does a bald eagle weigh?
Weight varies depending on latitude and gender.  Generally, males weigh approximately 25% less than females from the same area. The average weight of a female bald eagle is 10-14 pounds, however there exists great variation depending on where an eagle is from. Southern bald eagles tend to be smaller than those in northern parts of their range. For example in Alaska, females might weigh up to 18 pounds, whereas eagles in Florida can weigh as little as 7-8 pounds.

How much does a golden eagle weigh?
Weight varies depending on latitude and gender.  Generally, males weigh approximately 25% less than females from the same area. The average weight of a female is between 10 and 15 pounds.

What is a bald eagle’s wingspan?
The average wingspan ranges from 6 to 7.5 feet (182cm-229cm).
Wingspan of an eagle depends on overall size. Eagles in northern parts of their range tend to be larger overall, including a larger wingspan.

What is a golden eagle’s wingspan?
The average wingspan of a golden eagle is 6 to 7.5 feet (182cm-229cm).
Wingspan of an eagle depends on overall size. Eagles in northern parts of their range tend to be larger overall, including a larger wingspan.

What is the length of a bald eagle?
Size varies with geography and gender with females being larger than males and northern birds being larger than southern birds.  The average female bald eagle is 35 to 38 inches (89cm-96.5 cm) in length and is approximately 25% larger than the male.

What is the length of a golden eagle?
Size varies with geography and gender with females being larger than males and northern birds being larger than southern birds. The average golden eagle’s body length is between 33 and 38 inches (84cm-96.5 cm).

How far can an eagle turn its head?
An eagle can rotate its head approximately 180 degrees in each direction. Eagles have 14 cervical vertebrae allowing for greater rotation than humans who have just 7 cervical vertebrae and can typically rotate just 70-90 degrees in either direction.

Do eagles beaks and talons grow?
Yes. Eagles’ beaks and talons are made of keratin (like human finger nails).  Normal use in the wild keeps them the proper length. In captivity, talons and beaks are coped (trimmed) regularly to ensure the health of the bird.

How long do eagles live?
In the wild, an eagle that makes it to adulthood might live 20-25 years. 70-80% of eagles die before they reach adulthood at five years of age. In captivity, eagles are known to live much longer 40+ and up to 50 years, due to a controlled environment, nutrient rich diet and veterinary care.

Legends of eagles rejuvenating and living another 30+ years by going through a painful rebirthing process are purely mythical.

Do eagles have teeth?
No. The use their sharp beak and strong neck muscles to rip their food into pieces small enough to swallow.

How much do eagle bones weigh?
Eagles have hollow bones; the entire skeleton of an adult eagle is generally estimated to be 5-6% of the body weight.

How large is an eagle’s stomach?
An eagle’s stomach is quite small, about the size of a walnut. However, eagles can eat up to 1/3 of their own body weight in food. They have an area called the crop to store food, allowing them to survive without finding new food everyday.

Taxonomy
Scientific names are two word designations of genus and species. The genus is capitalized, while the species name is lowercase. Scientific names are italicized. Common names can vary by region.

Bald eagle (common name) – Haliaeetus leucocephalus
Haliaeetus = member of the sea or fish eagle group
leucocephalus = leuco=white, cephalus = head

Golden eagle (common name)  –  Aquila chrysaetos
Aquila – means eagle in Latin
chrysaetos – means golden in Greek

Eagles are members of the Accipitridae family, along with most diurnal birds of prey and old world vultures.