Bald Eagle Trivia

Bald Eagle

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What is the bald eagle’s scientific name?
Haliaeetus leucocephalus
The genus name is New Latin: Haliaeetus (from the Ancient Greek: ἁλιάετος, romanized: haliaetos, lit. sea eagle), and the specific name, leucocephalus, is Latinized (Ancient Greek: λευκός, romanized: leukos, lit. white) and (κεφαλή, kephalḗ, head).
Haliaeetus leucogaster
Haliaeetus albicilla
Haliaeetus ichthyaetus


Which sex of bald eagle builds the nest?
Both, Male & Female
Male and female bald eagles construct their nests together.
Male
Female


What feature originated the bald eagle’s common & scientific names?
White Feathers on Head
The bald eagle gets both its common and specific scientific names from the distinctive appearance of the adult’s head, covered in white feathers.
Featherless Head
Aging Balding
Featherless Beak


At what age does a bald eagle obtain its mature coloration?
5 Years
Mature coloration is reached in the bald eagle’s fifth year.
1 Year
3 Years
7 Years


Bald eagles avoid spoiled food.
True
Bald eagles avoid food items that taste spoiled.
False


How do higher latitudes affect bald eagle breeding?
Shorter Breeding Seasons
Bald eagle populations located further north tend to have shorter breeding seasons and more synchronous nesting periods. Individuals in higher latitudes also often produce larger eggs.
Larger Eggs
Bald eagle populations located further north tend to have shorter breeding seasons and more synchronous nesting periods. Individuals in higher latitudes also often produce larger eggs.
More Synchronous Nesting Periods
Bald eagle populations located further north tend to have shorter breeding seasons and more synchronous nesting periods. Individuals in higher latitudes also often produce larger eggs.
Larger Quantities of Eggs


What is the bald eagle’s diet?
Carnivorous
As opportunistic, carnivorous foragers, bald eagles have a fairly wide diet.
Herbivorous
Omnivorous
Unknown


How do bald eagles acquire food?
Foraging
In addition to foraging by pursuing live prey or consuming carrion, bald eagles often pirate food from conspecifics and other raptor species.
Hunting
In addition to foraging by pursuing live prey or consuming carrion, bald eagles often pirate food from conspecifics and other raptor species.
Carrion
In addition to foraging by pursuing live prey or consuming carrion, bald eagles often pirate food from conspecifics and other raptor species.
Pirating
In addition to foraging by pursuing live prey or consuming carrion, bald eagles often pirate food from conspecifics and other raptor species.


How long is the bald eagle’s wingspan?
2 m. / 6.5 ft.
Generally, their plank-like wings have a span of 178 to 229 centimeters.
1 m. / 3.2 ft.
1.5 m. / 4.9 ft.
2.5 m. / 8.2 ft.


What is the bald eagle’s parental investment?
Both, Maternal & Paternal
Both bald eagle parents care for their offspring.
Maternal
Paternal
None


Bald eagles use geographic landmarks for navigation.
True
Many bald eagle populations use geographic landmarks for navigation, such as mountain ranges and rivers.
False


Bald eagles are migratory.
True
Bald eagles are considered full migrants. Most populations, specifically those in northern regions, migrate to southern, milder climates annually.
False


What is the bald eagle’s rhythm?
Diurnal
Bald eagles are diurnal and spend about 91% of their time resting, 2.6% drinking, 2.3% scavenging, and 1.8% pirating food from others.
Nocturnal
Crepuscular
Cathemeral


When did the bald eagle become the national symbol of the United States?
1782
Bald eagles have been the national symbol of the United States since 1782.
1728
1882
1828


When do bald eagles construct their nests, prior to egg-laying?
1-3 Months
Bald eagles construct their nests about 1 to 3 months prior to egg-laying.
1-3 Days
1-3 Weeks
1-3 Years


How does the bald eagle differ from the golden eagle?
Longer Head
These birds can be differentiated based on the blotchy white coloration found on the underwing coverts, axillaries, and tails of immature bald eagles. Likewise, bald eagles have longer heads and shorter tails.
Shorter Tails
These birds can be differentiated based on the blotchy white coloration found on the underwing coverts, axillaries, and tails of immature bald eagles. Likewise, bald eagles have longer heads and shorter tails.
Blotchy White Coloration
These birds can be differentiated based on the blotchy white coloration found on the underwing coverts, axillaries, and tails of immature bald eagles. Likewise, bald eagles have longer heads and shorter tails.
Longer Beak


What is the bald eagle’s mating system?
Monogamy
Bald eagles have a monogamous mating system. These birds are believed to mate for life or until a pair member dies.
Polygyny
Polyandry
Polygynandry


How many broods does a bald eagle produce each breeding season?
1
Bald eagles have a low fecundity and typically produce one brood per season. Because many of bald eagle eggs do not survive, the birds may have replacement clutches if needed.
2
3
5


What is the bald eagle’s evaluation on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species?
Least Concern
Bald eagles are currently listed as a species of least concern according to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species due to their increasing population and large range.
Vulnerable
Near Threatened
Endangered


How many main types of calls does a bald eagle produce?
3
These birds produce three main types of calls, a chatter, which sounds like kwit, kwit, kwit, kwit, kee-kee-kee-kee-ker, a wail, and a peal, which is a long, high-pitched cry used when threats are perceived.
6
9
12


If lost, a bald eagle’s flight feathers take how long to replace?
2-3 Years
If lost, a bald eagle’s flight feathers may take 2 to 3 years to replace.
2-3 Weeks
2-3 Months
2-3 Hours


What is the bald eagle’s preferred food?
Fish
Bald eagles have a fairly wide diet, but generally prefer fish.
Water Birds
Carrion
Small Mammals


What color are the bald eagle’s feet?
Yellow
These birds have extremely large, powerful bodies and large heads, necks, bills, and yellow feet with sharp talons.
Brown
White
Black


The bald eagles’ home range size oscillates between breeding and non-breeding seasons.
False
On average, the bald eagle’s home range size is believed to be one to two square kilometers and does not appear to oscillate between breeding and non-breeding seasons.
True


Bald eagles reuse nests for consecutive years.
True
Bald eagle nests are composed of sticks and can be massive as birds often reuse nests for consecutive years, continually adding to it each year.
False


What is the bald eagle’s population trend?
Increasing
The bald eagle’s population trend is evaluated as increasing on IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Decreasing
Stable
Unknown


How many bald eagle subspecies are recognized?
2
There are two recognized subspecies of bald eagle. Haliaeetus leucocephalus leucocephalus (Linnaeus, 1766) is the nominate subspecies. It is found in the southern United States and Baja California Peninsula. Haliaeetus leucocephalus washingtoniensis (Audubon, 1827), synonym H. l. alascanus (Townsend, 1897), the northern subspecies, is found in the northern United States, Canada and Alaska.
0
4
6


Bald eagles are native to what continent?
North America
Bald eagles are found throughout North America near large water sources.
Europe
Asia
Africa


What is the bald eagle’s social system?
Solitary
Bald eagles are often solitary, although they pair bond during the nesting season.
Social


When is National American Eagle Day?
June 20
National American Eagle Day is June 20th.
July 20
July 12
June 12


What preys on young bald eagles?
Bears
For some populations, bald eagles have few predators, allowing them to nest on the ground. However, their eggs and young are often preyed upon by magpies, gulls, ravens, crows, black bears (Ursus americanus), raccoons, bobcats (Lynx rufus), wolverines (Gulo gulo), and arctic foxes (vulpes lagopus). Fully grown adult birds are not often subject to predation.
Raccoons
For some populations, bald eagles have few predators, allowing them to nest on the ground. However, their eggs and young are often preyed upon by magpies, gulls, ravens, crows, black bears (Ursus americanus), raccoons, bobcats (Lynx rufus), wolverines (Gulo gulo), and arctic foxes (vulpes lagopus). Fully grown adult birds are not often subject to predation.
Ravens
For some populations, bald eagles have few predators, allowing them to nest on the ground. However, their eggs and young are often preyed upon by magpies, gulls, ravens, crows, black bears (Ursus americanus), raccoons, bobcats (Lynx rufus), wolverines (Gulo gulo), and arctic foxes (vulpes lagopus). Fully grown adult birds are not often subject to predation.
Foxes
For some populations, bald eagles have few predators, allowing them to nest on the ground. However, their eggs and young are often preyed upon by magpies, gulls, ravens, crows, black bears (Ursus americanus), raccoons, bobcats (Lynx rufus), wolverines (Gulo gulo), and arctic foxes (vulpes lagopus). Fully grown adult birds are not often subject to predation.


Bald eagles have very good binocular vision.
True
With large, forward facing eyes, bald eagles likely have very good binocular vision.
False


When do bald eagles release from each other during a demonstrative display?
End of Freefall
Bald eagles perform extremely demonstrative displays when they come together for the breeding season. They perform flight displays with their mates, swooping at each other. During their cart-wheel display, the birds clasp their feet in the air and spin as they plummet towards the ground, letting go before impact.
Crest of the Ascent
Copulation
Sea Landing


Which bald eagles prefer to hunt instead of pirate?
Younger
In general, younger and smaller birds choose to hunt instead of pirate. When pirating food, eagles may fly, leap, or walk to snatch the food. When walking, bald eagles are somewhat awkward, rocking their bodies as they move.
Smaller
In general, younger and smaller birds choose to hunt instead of pirate. When pirating food, eagles may fly, leap, or walk to snatch the food. When walking, bald eagles are somewhat awkward, rocking their bodies as they move.
Older
Larger


Which sex of bald eagles broods the eggs most?
Female
A larger burden of caring for the offspring falls on the female. Eggs are brooded by females about three to seven times more frequently than by males and females are present about 90% of the time when brooding young nestlings as opposed to 50% among males.
Male


Bald eagles have caused a decline in what species?
Common Murre
Bald eagles are causing a population decline in common murres (Uria aalge).
Great Blue Heron
Golden Eagle
American Coot


What color is the bald eagle’s beak?
Yellow
Adult bald eagles are extremely large birds with characteristically yellow eyes and bills, white heads and tails, and dark brown bodies, which may appear almost black.
Brown
White
Black


Which river is a major migratory corridor for bald eagles?
Mississippi
The Mississippi River, in particular, is a major migratory corridor.
Rio Grande
Missouri
Arkansas


To where do bald eagles migrate?
Atlantic Coast
Migratory birds from Canadian populations typically travel south to the United States during the winter, likewise, populations nesting in the Great Lakes region may move toward the Atlantic coast, down to the Chesapeake Bay and populations from northeastern United States and Canada may move south and inland, toward the Appalachian Mountains.
Chesapeake Bay
Migratory birds from Canadian populations typically travel south to the United States during the winter, likewise, populations nesting in the Great Lakes region may move toward the Atlantic coast, down to the Chesapeake Bay and populations from northeastern United States and Canada may move south and inland, toward the Appalachian Mountains.
Appalachian Mountains
Migratory birds from Canadian populations typically travel south to the United States during the winter, likewise, populations nesting in the Great Lakes region may move toward the Atlantic coast, down to the Chesapeake Bay and populations from northeastern United States and Canada may move south and inland, toward the Appalachian Mountains.
Great Lakes


What factors make bald eagles less active?
Lower Temperatures
Generally, these birds are less active during the winter or when winds are especially high. Likewise, precipitation has a negative impact on their foraging success.
Percipitation
Generally, these birds are less active during the winter or when winds are especially high. Likewise, precipitation has a negative impact on their foraging success.
High Winds
Generally, these birds are less active during the winter or when winds are especially high. Likewise, precipitation has a negative impact on their foraging success.
Higher Temperatures


Bald eagles are a popular birdwatching species.
True
As a highly charismatic species, bald eagles draw bird watchers and other nature enthusiasts.
False


How many eggs make up a bald eagle’s brood?
1-3
Bald eagles have a low fecundity and typically produce one to three eggs per brood.
3-5
5-7
7-9


What affect does DDT have on bald eagles?
Deformities
Because DDT’s fat soluble properties allow it to accumulate in the fats of organisms as it biologically magnifies, top predators, such as bald eagles, were at great risk. DDT impacts all animals, with impacts such as deformities, neurological damage, and in the case of birds, brittle egg shells and un-hatching eggs.
Neurological Damage
Because DDT’s fat soluble properties allow it to accumulate in the fats of organisms as it biologically magnifies, top predators, such as bald eagles, were at great risk. DDT impacts all animals, with impacts such as deformities, neurological damage, and in the case of birds, brittle egg shells and un-hatching eggs.
Un-hatching Eggs
Because DDT’s fat soluble properties allow it to accumulate in the fats of organisms as it biologically magnifies, top predators, such as bald eagles, were at great risk. DDT impacts all animals, with impacts such as deformities, neurological damage, and in the case of birds, brittle egg shells and un-hatching eggs.
Brittle Egg Shells
Because DDT’s fat soluble properties allow it to accumulate in the fats of organisms as it biologically magnifies, top predators, such as bald eagles, were at great risk. DDT impacts all animals, with impacts such as deformities, neurological damage, and in the case of birds, brittle egg shells and un-hatching eggs.


When were bald eagles removed from the protection of the Endangered Species Act?
2007
As of June 28, 2007 these birds were removed from the protection of the Endangered Species Act where they had been listed since 1978.
1978
1987
2018


How do bald eagles communicate threats?
Head & Wing Motions
Bald eagles may communicate threats with a series of visual displays such as head motions, wing motions, and crouching.
Crouching
Bald eagles may communicate threats with a series of visual displays such as head motions, wing motions, and crouching.
Vocalizations
Bald eagles may communicate threats with a series of visual displays such as head motions, wing motions, and crouching.
Rapid Ascension & Descension


What color are bald eagle eggs?
White
Bald eagle eggs are round to oval and are generally whitish.
Blue
Black
Brown


How many times a day are bald eagle nestlings fed?
4-5
During the nestling period, young are fed four to five times per day and are brooded constantly until they are about four weeks old.
6-7
2-3
8-9


Bald eagles are the largest semi-altricial birds in North America.
True
Bald eagles are the largest semi-altricial birds in North America and weigh approximately 60 grams at hatching.
False


The bald eagle is born with white coloration.
False
Immature bald eagles are often confused with golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) due to their dark coloration.
True


Where do bald eagles nest?
Trees
Bald eagle nests are often located away from human settlements and near water, but they vary based on the population’s location. Generally, bald eagles nest in the canopies of tall, coniferous trees, surrounded by smaller trees, however, in southern Florida, mangroves are used instead. They have also been reported nesting in deciduous trees, on the ground, on cliffs, on cellular phone towers, on electrical poles, and in artificial nesting towers.
Cliffs
Bald eagle nests are often located away from human settlements and near water, but they vary based on the population’s location. Generally, bald eagles nest in the canopies of tall, coniferous trees, surrounded by smaller trees, however, in southern Florida, mangroves are used instead. They have also been reported nesting in deciduous trees, on the ground, on cliffs, on cellular phone towers, on electrical poles, and in artificial nesting towers.
Ground
Bald eagle nests are often located away from human settlements and near water, but they vary based on the population’s location. Generally, bald eagles nest in the canopies of tall, coniferous trees, surrounded by smaller trees, however, in southern Florida, mangroves are used instead. They have also been reported nesting in deciduous trees, on the ground, on cliffs, on cellular phone towers, on electrical poles, and in artificial nesting towers.
Electrical Poles
Bald eagle nests are often located away from human settlements and near water, but they vary based on the population’s location. Generally, bald eagles nest in the canopies of tall, coniferous trees, surrounded by smaller trees, however, in southern Florida, mangroves are used instead. They have also been reported nesting in deciduous trees, on the ground, on cliffs, on cellular phone towers, on electrical poles, and in artificial nesting towers.


Which bald eagle subspecies is the largest?
Northern
Haliaeetus leucocephalus washingtoniensis (Audubon, 1827), synonym H. l. alascanus (Townsend, 1897), the northern subspecies, is larger than the southern nominate leucocephalus.
Southern
Eastern
Wesetern


What habitats do bald eagles inhabit?
Forest
Bald eagles inhabit forest, shrubland, grassland, wetland, marine neritic, marine intertidal, and artificial aquatic and marine habitats.
Wetland
Bald eagles inhabit forest, shrubland, grassland, wetland, marine neritic, marine intertidal, and artificial aquatic and marine habitats.
Grassland
Bald eagles inhabit forest, shrubland, grassland, wetland, marine neritic, marine intertidal, and artificial aquatic and marine habitats.
Shrubland
Bald eagles inhabit forest, shrubland, grassland, wetland, marine neritic, marine intertidal, and artificial aquatic and marine habitats.


Bald eagles may roost communally in groups up to how many individuals?
400
Groups of bald eagles may be seen in areas with ample prey and they may roost communally in large groups of up to 400 individuals.
4
40
4,000


Human activity can reduce bald eagle feeding by what percentage?
35%
At times when humans are active in foraging areas, their feeding may be reduced by as much as 35%.
55%
75%
95%


A bald eagle’s fertility is correlated with body size.
True
For males, their fertility is significantly correlated to their body size.
False


How long are bald eagle eggs incubated?
35 Days
Regardless of their geographic location, eggs are generally incubated for about 35 days, followed by an 11 to 12 week nestling period.
65 Days
95 Days
15 Days


The bald eagle’s plumage weighs how much compared to its skeleton?
2x
Their plumage alone weighs about 700 grams, which is twice as much as their skeleton.
1/2x
1/4x
3x


How many distinct maturation stages does a bald eagle undergo?
4
The bald eagles undergoes four distinct maturation stages, each comprising one year of its life.
2
6
8


Bald eagles may remain dependent on their parents until what age?
18 Weeks
Even after fledging, immature bald eagles may continue their dependency on their parents for an additional 4 to 11 weeks until they are 18 weeks old.
6 Weeks
10 Weeks
14 Weeks


Bald eagles will submerge to obtain prey.
False
Bald eagles do not submerge themselves to obtain prey; instead, they use their strong talons to remove fish near the water surface.
True


Bald eagles consume human refuse.
True
Populations of bald eagles have been found residing near landfills, consuming human refuse.
False


At what age do bald eagles begin breeding?
5 Years
Bald eagles begin breeding when they are five years old.
3 Years
7 Years
9 Years


Bald eagles migrate with their mates.
False
Bald eagles do not migrate with their mates.
True


Bald eagles have an adept sense of smell.
False
Bald eagles do not have an adept sense of smell.
True


How much did the largest bald eagle nest weigh?
1,814 kg. / 4,000 lbs.
The largest bald eagle nest on record was found in Florida. It was used for 30 years and weighed two tons when it fell out of a tree.
907 kg. / 2,000 lbs.
453 kg. / 1,000 lbs.
1,360 kg. / 3,000 lbs.


The bald eagle forms a species pair with what species?
White-Tailed Sea-Eagle
The bald eagle forms a species pair with the white-tailed sea-eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla) of Eurasia. This species pair consists of a white-headed and a tan-headed species of roughly equal size, though the white-tailed sea-eagle overall has somewhat paler brown body plumage. The two species fill the same ecological niche in their respective ranges. The pair diverged from other sea-eagles at the beginning of the Early Miocene (c. 10 Ma BP) at the latest, but possibly as early as the Early/Middle Oligocene, 28 Ma BP, if the most ancient fossil record is correctly assigned to this genus.
White-Bellied Sea-Eagle
Golden Eagle
Grey-Headed Fish-Eagle


What is a group of bald eagle’s called?
Convocation
A group of bald eagles is called a convocation.
Confederation
Liberation
Republic


Bald eagles store food in their crop for later digestion.
True
When food is available, bald eagles often gorge and store food in their crop for later digestion.
False

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