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Why Are Bald Eagles Considered Carnivores?

Bald eagles are birds that are found in North America, Canada, and Mexico, and more than half of all Bald eagles live in Alaska. 

Are eagles carnivores?

Bald eagles are considered carnivores because the main food that they eat is fish.  Eagles also eat things such as small animals such as rabbits, amphibians, crabs, squirrels, small birds, bird eggs, and other meats.  Bald eagles only eat meat, and so this is why they are considered carnivores.

Bald eagles are also known as sea eagles, and they are considered birds of prey.  They like to live in areas where there is plenty of food that they can eat, and they have some favorite foods. So, what do eagles eat?

What Do Bald Eagles Eat

A bald eagle can lift and carry around 4 pounds and will turn into a vulture-like scavenger when food is in short supply. They eat between one half and one full pound of food per day and can consume between 219 and 365 pounds of food per year.

  • Fish
  • Sharks
  • Ducks
  • Coots
  • Geese
  • Beavers
  • Rabbits
  • Ground Squirrels
  • Muskrats
  • Hares

Is a Bald Eagle a Scavenger or Carnivore?

A bald eagle is a carnivore bird because it is a bird that eats only meat, but a bald eagle can also be known as a scavenger.

A scavenger is someone that hunts for food or eats leftovers.  Sometimes, when they need to, a bald eagle will go and eat the leftovers of bigger animals, such as brown bears, other birds, or even roadkill. 

Since one of the favorite foods of the Bald eagle is salmon, the Bald eagle will often wait and watch for the brown bear to eat the parts of the salmon that it catches and then throw it to the edge of the water. 

When this happens, the Bald eagle will swoop down and will eat what is leftover from the salmon such as the eggs, the brain, and the fat parts of the body.

What is Special About a Bald Eagle?

A Bald Eagle is special because it is easy to recognize.  It has a brown body, its head is white, and it has a beak that is hooked and very yellow.

One special thing about the Bald Eagle is that it is the national emblem of the United States of America. 

The Bald eagle has been the national emblem since 1782 and has been on many different signs, banners, and flags, showing the love for the eagle.

Why Does the Government Protect the Bald Eagle?

The Bald Eagle is a protected bird, and the United States of America has gone out of its way to try to increase the population of the Bald Eagle. The Bald Eagle is protected under many different federal laws and regulations.

Is the Bald Eagle Endangered?

The Bald Eagle is not endangered, but it is protected under many different federal laws and regulations. 

Here are some of the laws and regulations to protect the Bald Eagle:

  • Endangered Species Act.
  • Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918.
  • Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.

Is it Okay to Kill a Bald Eagle?

Killing a Bald Eagle is against the law in the United States.  The United States has made many different federal statutes that protect the Bald Eagle from being hunted.

In 1782, the Continental Congress allowed Bald Eagles to be protected.

If you are caught killing, taking the nest, eggs, or disturbing a Bald Eagle, this is considered a criminal crime, and you can get a fine from $500 to $5,000, and if you are caught twice, it increases to $10,000 and two years in prison.

Even if you sell a Bald Eagle, this is the same crime as killing it, and you will face time in jail and a fine for doing this.

What Problems Does the Bald Eagle Face?

There are different problems that the Bald eagle can face, such as lead poisoning, mercury poisoning, and pesticides.

Lead poisoning can cause the Bald eagle to die.  When a Bald eagle hunts meat, some of the meat has been contaminated by lead, and this can be a big problem for Bald eagles.  One of the biggest consumptions of lead happens when a Bald Eagle eats food that has been savaged and food that is roadkill, which often contains a lot of lead.  From 1982 until the year 2013, 484 Bald Eagles died of lead poisoning.

Mercury is another type of poisoning that can be very dangerous for Bald Eagles.  Mercury is a heavy metal and can be found in the types of foods that the Bald eagle eats.

Pesticides are another thing that has been known to kill Bald Eagles.  The chemicals that are used on farms and in other places can cause the death of Eagles that eat animals that have eaten these chemicals.  

What Are Eagles Predators

Eagles are apex predators, which means they eat anything. It’s possible for wolves and foxes to rush a feeding eagle, but they’re more likely to get the eagle’s kill.

A lack of food can make eagles weak and injured, making them easier prey for bigger predators.

Eagles, especially young ones that don’t nest in trees, are vulnerable to predators. If a bear, raccoon, or corvid can climb up a tree, they’ll get an easy meal.

A bald eagle may nest on a rocky ledge, but if it falls out, it could be eaten by foxes, wolves, bears, bob-cats, and wolverines, for example.

Humans still shoot and poison Bald Eagles, and landowners sometimes shoot Golden Eagles if they think they’re a threat. Despite having no natural predators as adults, eagles still need to be careful when dealing with other eagles and creatures that protect their young.

How Big is a Bald Eagle?

A Bald Eagle is usually between 28 to 40 inches tall and has a wingspan of 5 foot 11 inches to 7 foot 7 inches.  The Bald Eagle normally weighs between 6.6 pounds to 13.9 pounds. 

The female Bald eagle is normally bigger than the male and can weigh up to 25% more than the male Bald eagle.

What Does a Bald Eagle Look Like?

A Bald eagle has feathers that are dark brown and a white head and a whitetail.  The tail is long and is shaped like a wedge.

The male and the female Bald eagle look very similar to each other, but the female Bald eagle is usually a little bit bigger than the male.

The feet and the beak of the Bald eagle are a bright yellow color, and the toes are short but have very long talons or nails on them.  The back nail is larger and is used for the bird to hold on to its food when it grabs it from the water or off the ground.

The beak of the Bald eagle has a large hook and is very yellow.

What Scientific Classification is the Bald Eagle?

The Bald Eagle has the following Scientific Classification:

Kingdom:  Animalia

Phylum:  Chordata

Class:  Aves

Order:  Accipitriforms

Family:  Accipitridae

Genus:  Haliaeetus

Species:  H. leucocephalus

How Much Can a Bald Eagle Pick Up?

The most that a Bald Eagle can really lift is around four or five pounds.  This is not an easy task for a Bald Eagle because most of the time they only weigh around 12 pounds and so carrying something that large is very hard for them,

Most Bald Eagles that want to carry bigger things have to have a bigger wing size, and the ones that are faster are able to carry more things.

When a Bald eagle is picking up fish out of the water, it swoops down at around 30 miles per hour and will grab the fish with its talons.  When a Bald eagle has more speed and momentum, it will allow carrying something that weighs more. 

Even though people have heard stories about Bald eagles taking away people, dogs, and other bigger objects, the truth is that a Bald eagle would not be able to fly away with an object of that size.  The only thing that a Bald eagle can do with something larger than five pounds is to hop around with it in its claws.

Can a Bald Eagle Kill a Wolf?

A Bald eagle is a powerful animal and has a very strong beak and very strong talons, so it would be able to kill an animal that is larger than it, depending on the circumstances.

A Bald eagle is very fast and powerful and has strong features such as a beak and claws, so if it was being attacked by a wolf or other large animals, the eagle could kill it if it struck the wolf or the other animal in the back of the skull. 

Depending on how fast and how skilled the Bald eagle is would depend on if the eagle was able to get to the right place of the bigger animal in order to strike and kill the animal.  A Bald eagle would have the advantage of being able to attack from the sky, so this would give the Bald eagle the advantage in an attack.