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Karl E. Mundt National Wildlife Refuge


Eagle Facts




Eagles at the Refuge

Eagle Facts

Bird List

Lake Andes National Wildlife Refuge Complex


  • The bald eagle was officially listed as an endangered species in 1976. In 1995 it was downlisted to threatened.
  • The world’s bald eagle population is estimated at 90,000. Most of these are in Alaska.
  • Male bald eagles are smaller than females. The adult female has a wingspan of 8 feet and weighs about 10 to 14 pounds. The male has a wingspan of 7 feet and weighs about 8 to 10 1/2 pounds.
  • The birds' scientific name, Haliaeetus leucocephalus, means "white-headed sea eagle".
  • Eagles may live 30 years or more in the wild.
  • Eagles have been clocked at speeds of over 100 miles per hour while diving on their prey.
  • Eagles mate for life, returning to same nest territory year after year.
  • One to three eggs are laid, hatching in about 35 days. Normally, only one chick survives to fly from the nest. When food resources are abundant as many as three eaglets may fledge from the same nest.
  • Fledgling eagles learn to fly at three months of age and leave the nest for good by the time they reach their fourth month.
  • Many fledglings spend their first nights on the ground, which exposes them to high mortality.
  • By four years of age bald eagles become sexually mature, and develop the characteristic white head and tail feathers

Contact Karl E. Mundt:: LakeAndes@fws.gov

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