My last blog post was about an eagle that was in my neighbor's tree. Today's post is on "Eagles in Indiana". Here are some facts that you may or may not know about eagles.
- The bald eagle was designated as the national bird of the United States in 1782.
- The loss of wetland habitat in Indiana caused a decline in the eagle population.
- The use of chemical pesticides caused the bald eagle population to severely decline in the 50's and 60's. Chemical pesticides called DDT were found in the fish that the birds ate and it caused the egg shells to be thin and break.
- Female birds weigh more than males.
- Female and male birds are identical in color.
- Adult birds have bright yellow feet, bills and eyes. Younger birds have brown bills and yellow feet.
- A young bird reaches maturity in 4 to 5 years at which time they can start to breed.
- Eagles mate for life, breed and nest in the same location every year.
- The primary diet of an eagle is fish. They will eat ducks, rabbits, squirrels and other small animals. They can spot their prey from up to two miles away with their keen eyesight.
- An eagle's nest is huge from 5 to 6 feet wide. It is made from sticks and lined with moss, grass and other materials.
- Bald eagles can live in captivity for up to 50 years.
- Federal law protects eagles with very large fines or jail time.
I am very thankful for programs like the Bald Eagle Reintroduction Program. I live in the city with the White River in my backyard and I can watch eagles flying along the river as they search for fish. What a sight to see and enjoy from my garden.