The more than 50 species of eagles are found on all continents and are divided into 4 major groups: the mainly tropical snake eagles and harpy eagles, not found in Canada; fish eagles, represented in Canada by the bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus); and booted eagles, including the golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), which breeds in mountainous regions of Canada, except on the arctic islands.
Bald and golden eagles are immediately recognizable by their large size and 1.8 m wingspan. As adults, the 2 are easily distinguished: the bald eagle has a white head (not truly bald) and tail, contrasting with the solid brown of the golden eagle, and the golden eagle has legs feathered to the talons.
Bald and golden eagles nest in treetops or cliff ledges. Nests are made of sticks lined with grasses, weeds, etc. Because nests can be used for years, they can become enormous. Usually, 2 eggs are laid (range 1-3). Golden eagles incubate eggs for 43 days; bald eagles, 35 days. Young are down-covered and remain helpless in the nest for 50-100 days.
The feathers of an eagle were of great symbolic value to the Native People of the Plains, signifying bravery or holding the power of spirits.
Author R.W. FYFE
Links to Other Sites
All About Birds
Search this online bird identification guide for information on specific bird species found in North America. Click on the dynamic map of eBird sightings for a magnified view. From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the US.
Canadian Biodiversity Website
A great information source for all budding biologists. Learn about biodiversity theory, natural history, and conservation issues. From McGill’s Redpath Museum.
Hinterland Who's Who
Check out the extensive "Hinterland Who's Who" website for illustrated "Species Fact Sheets" about mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and insects found in Canada. Also covers related conservation and biodiversity issues and includes related multimedia and educational resources. From the Canadian Wildlife Service and the Canadian Wildlife Federation.
Species at Risk Public Registry
A searchable database of Canadian species at risk. Provides illustrated natural histories of each species as well as information about recovery programs, a glossary, and more. From Environment Canada.
Bird Studies Canada
The website for “Bird Studies Canada,” an organization dedicated to preserving wild birds and their habitats. Search this site for the latest information on bird sightings and populations, checklists and maps, species at risk, and more.
Keep an eye on the bald eagle webcams located in Sidney, BC. From the CBC website.
Important Bird Areas in Canada
An extensive database of key facts and maps about bird populations, habitat types, and land use activities associated with Important Bird Areas across Canada. To search the database, click on "IBA database." Then, click on the "Show IBA List" button to see a list of these locations.
View an online collection of Paul Nicklen's outstanding nature photographs. Click on each image to access photos of seals, polar bears, whales, walruses, Arctic landscapes, and much more. Note: requires Flash Player.
Shawnadithit grew anxious waiting for her uncle, Longnon, to return to camp at the junction of Badger Brook and the Exploits River, deep in the wilds of Newfoundland...