Bald Eagles in Tennessee
The Bald Eagle gets it's name from and old English word, "balde", which meant white, as in "white-headed eagle".
It's diet is about 90 percent fish, which may be taken freshly dead or live. They may also feed on rabbits, coots and injured waterfowl.
Their wingspan varies from 6 to 7.5 feet.
Male Bald Eagles may range from six to nine pounds in weight, with females averaging approximately two pounds larger.
Eagles from the north tend to be larger than those from southern states. Alaskan females sometimes reach 15 or 16 pounds. Florida males may be as small as 6 pounds.
Sexual maturity occurs at 4 to 6 years of age. The heads and tails then change from dark brown to white and the beaks change from black to yellow.
Bald Eagles have been recorded as living over 39 years in the wild and over 50 years in captivity.
Eagles normally mate for life. They may select another mate within a few months if the first one dies.
Nests average 5 feet in diameter during the first year. The same two adults may add to the nest year after year until the nest reaches approximately 7 to 8 feet across and 12 feet deep.
Bald Eagles leave the nest (fledge) at about 12 weeks of age.
Flight speed during flapping and gliding has been measured between 36 and 44 miles per hour.
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