Posts tagged ‘Bald Eagle’

Is the bald eagle really bald?

Bald Eagle

Despite its name, the bald eagles not bald.  Its head is covered with white feathers.  The eagle’s tail is also white, but the rest of its feathers are dark brown.  One idea of how the bald eagle got its name is that its snowy white head makes it appear bald when viewed from a distance.

The fact is that this North America eagle was named at a time when the word “bald” meant “white.” Early colonists called this bird “bald-headed” meaning that it was white-headed.  Only adult birds have white heads.  Young bald eagles are brown all over. – Dick Rogers

What is an osprey?

The osprey is a large bird of prey that resembles the eagle.  A full-grown osprey may be 2 feet long with a wing-spread of nearly 6 feet.

It is dark brown above, white below, with enough white on its head to be easily mistaken for the bald eagle.

Osprey are found near rivers, lakes and sea-coasts all over the world.  A common name for the osprey is “fish hawk”  because it feeds almost entirely on fish.

Osprey

It fishes by flying over the water.  When it spots a fish swimming near the surface it dives feet-first, hits water with a great splash and seize the fish with its long, sharp talons.

Sea eagles often rob the osprey of its catch.  The eagle is not a very good fisherman.  When it spies an osprey with a fish, it swoops down and forces the osprey higher and higher until the osprey tires and drops the fish.

The eagle catches the fist in mid-air. – Dick Rogers

 

How did the bald eagle get its name?

Bald Eagle

The American bald eagle is a large, majestic bird, often pictured on coins, flags, and other devices.  It is the national emblem of the United States.  Despite its name, the bald eagle is not bald.

The adult bird’s head, neck and tail are covered with white feathers.  Its body feathers are dark brown.

One popular idea of how the bald eagle got its name is that the eagle’s snowy white head makes it look bald when seen at a distance.

Perhaps the correct explanation is that the bald eagle was named at a time when the word “bald”  meant “white”.  When the American colonists saw this bird for the first time, they called it “baldheaded.”  By this they meant that it had a white head.

The bald eagle isn’t the only eagle found in the limited states.  There is also the golden eagle, so called because the feathers on its head and neck are golden brown.  – Dick Rogers