The Bald Eagle

An in-depth look at the Bald Eagle - one of Canada's most majestic and impressive bird species.


Found only in North America, the Bald Eagle is often associated with our friends south of the border. However, The Bald Eagle can be found throughout Canada, albeit in limited numbers.

Eating habits

Bald Eagles prefer to feed on fish but they are also known to eat small mammals. Despite being excellent hunters, the will also get food sources by scavenging and stealing from their competition.

Nesting habits

Once a bald eagle selects a mate, they will remain monogamous partners for life. In the event of a death, a new mate will be selected.

Large platforms for nesting are usually created out of sticks, moss and grass. These tend to be quite large as the female may lay between one and three eggs.

Although Bald Eagles thrive in captivity, living almost 40 years, they will not breed.


Incubation lasts between 34-36 days and during that period, the female will protect her eggs from predators such as racoons and other birds.

The first year

At around 10-12 weeks, the eaglet will leave the family and nesting platform. A mere 50 per cent will survive their first year due to weather conditions or lack of food supply.

Species at risk

The Bald Eagle was on the brink of extinction in the 1950s with the widespread use of chemicals such as DDT. This lead to the sterilization of many birds, in addition to the thinning of egg shells.

Despite efforts to increase numbers by both Canada and the United States, the bird was cited as threatened in the mid-90s.


Despite varying numbers throughout North America, the Bald Eagle is protected from being hunted and trapped.

In Ontario, the Conservation Land Tax Incentive Program (CLTIP) provides 100 per cent tax relief to landowners who allot a portion of their land for an eagles habitat. This program allows the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources to track progress throughout Southern Ontario.

The highest populations are currently in Alaska followed by British Columbia.

Cultural significance

The Bald Eagle is the national bird of the United States and is depicted on the Seal of the President of the United States of America.

The Native peoples of Canada and America consider the Bald Eagle a sacred bird that delivers messages between people and certain gods.