The Bald Eagle is characterized by a stark white head which contrasts their brown bodies. The average bald eagle weighs about 14 pounds while having a wingspan of about 8 feet. Most bald eagles are found to be living near lakes, marshes, or rivers where they have a plentiful source of fish to hunt. Eagles typically will have only one mate for life, building their nests high among the largest trees. Their nests can get as big as 10 feet wide and might weigh up to 500 lbs. Females of mating age will typically lay 1 to 3 eggs per year which hatch after 35 days. Young eagles learn to fly within 3 months of hatching, and will live up to 25 years in the wild (or longer in captivity).
Bald Eagles are one of the most famous "endangered" birds in the world. After nearly disappearing from the planet completely, their comeback has made them an example for conservation efforts everywhere. Their near extinction was due to over-hunting, loss of natural habitats, and the overuse of pesticides and insecticides. After the federal banning of the insecticide DDT and the implementation of other conservation actions, Bald Eagles made a remarkable recovery. In August 2007, they were removed from the endangered species list, however they are still protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Act.