bald eagle, credit: Missy Mandel

Special Concern in Ontario, Not Listed Nationally


• Bright white head, neck and tail and dark brown body; beak and talons bright yellow; wingspan just over two metres
• Young are mostly brown with variable speckles of white; it takes four years to attain the distinctive adult plumage
• Both parents share duty of incubating eggs and looking after young
• Feeds mainly on fish but also known to catch birds and small mammals, scavenge for carrion, and take food from other birds
• Nests on huge stick platforms located near water and situated high in trees


• Widely distributed throughout North America
• Nests throughout Ontario, with the highest density in the northwest
• Historically common in southern Ontario along shore of Lake Erie
• Rebounded after banning of DDT, an intensive re-introduction program and environmental clean-up efforts


• Habitat loss
• Pollution
• Illegal shooting
• Accidental trapping
• Electrocution


• Not protected under the Endangered Species Act, 2007


In 2013, 1,082 overwintering bald eagles were reported on Christmas Bird Counts in Ontario, the highest total number ever.


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