Bald eagle was declared as the National Emblem of the United States officially in 1782. The binomial name of this species is Haliaeetus leucocephalus. Bald eagles build huge nest platforms out of branches , particularly in large trees. They have a long life span with reports of birds in captivity living to be 60 years old. The nests which has been built by this bird are very large and they are known as eyries. Nests are lined up with twigs, soft mosses, grasses and feathers. Male bald eagles generally weigh 7 to 10 pounds and it has a wing span of about 6.5 ft. Female bald eagles are larger and it reaches 14 pounds having a wingspan of upto 8 ft.
As this bird was noted as a threat with extinction, Congress passed the Bald eagle protection act which made it illegal to harass/sell bald eagles since it has been declared as an endangered species. But the major threat to the existence of bald eagle arose from the widespread of DDT after World War II. In addition to this threat the chemicals interfered with the bald eagle’s ability to develop strong shells for its eggs. Lead poisoning is also one of the cause of the death of bald eagles.
But in the last few years several states have had breeding for this bird in years for the first time. Even though the habitat loss still remains a threat to the full recovery of bald eagles, experts agree that it is an encouraging process and the national symbol soaring the skies may become a common sight for Americans to once again behold is not too far.