Bald Eagle Haliaeetus leucocephalus Scientific name definitions

David A. Buehler
Version: 2.0 — Published October 7, 2022

Figures from this Account

Distribution of the Bald Eagle
Figure 1. Bald Eagle annual cycle.

Annual cycle of migratory Bald Eagles in Alaska. Adults migrate early in spring, followed by immatures; reverse pattern occurs in fall. Thick lines indicate peak activity; thin lines, off-peak.

Figure 2. Bald Eagles feeding at salmon-spawning runs, Alaska. Drawing by N. John Schmitt.

Thousands of Bald Eagles show up on the Chilkat River, AK, each fall to take advantage of salmon-spawning runs. Drawing by N. John Schmitt.

Figure 3. Typical vocalizations of the Bald Eagle.

Bald Eagle vocalizations. A. Adult “chatter” (sex unknown); B. Adult “scream” (sex unknown). From recordings in the collection of the Borror Laboratory of Bioacoustics (BLB), The Ohio State University (A: Date and place of recording unknown; BLB no. C316; B: recorded 6 Jul 1989, Gogebic County, MI, BLB no. 17206). Prepared by staff of BLB, using a Kay Elemetrics DSP 5500 Sona-Graph (with effective frequency resolution of 150 Hz and a 200-point FFT transform size).

Figure 4. Size of U. S. Bald Eagle breeding populations in the lower 48 states, 1963-2019.

Number of Bald Eagle breeding pairs in 48 contiguous United States; 1963 data from National Audubon Society count; more recent data compiled from state surveys by J. Millar, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 1997-2019 data compiled by author.

Figure 5. Population trend for Bald Eagle based on Breeding Bird Survey data.

Relative abundance (number of individuals per survey route) of Bald Eagle based on North American Breeding Bird Survey data, 1966–2015. Data from Sauer et al. (2017).

Recommended Citation

Buehler, D. A. (2022). Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), version 2.0. In Birds of the World (P. G. Rodewald and S. G. Mlodinow, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.baleag.02