Assateague Island National Seashore
Assateague Island information guide
American Bald Eagle

Assateague's Bald Eagles can sometimes be seen by visitors that enjoy the art of Birdwatching at Assateague Island National Seashore. The bald eagle was in danger of extinction just 25 years ago, but its numbers have improved. This raptor has a wing span of 6-7 feet and can weigh up to 14 pounds. Bald eagles feed on fish along coastal areas and inland waters. People have witnessed the eagles fly low over the ocean, between the wave troughs, in order to capture seabirds by surprise.

Bald eagles add to their nests each year, some nests weigh up to 2,000 pounds. Eagles often prefer high tree tops with the best commanding view of an area. In the nests, their eggs (2-3 usually) normally hatch within 40 days. The parents have the responsibility of providing food, such as fish, ducks, birds, and small mammals. Young eagles can fly at 3 months of age. Bald eagles can live to 30 yeas of age or longer, they also mate for life.

With habitat improvement and the banning of the pesticide DDT, Bald Eagle populations have steadily increased. They are still considered "threatened" although the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service took them off the Endangered Species List in 1995. The recovery of our national symbol is very encouraging and increased numbers mean more sightings at Assateague Island National Seashore.

(Haliaeetus leucocephalus)

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