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Bald Eagle

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Bald EagleLegal Status: Federal Threatened Species / California Endangered Species

Range: Alaska, Canada, the continental United States, and northern Mexico
Habitat: Inhabits coastal areas, rivers, reservoirs, large lakes, and mountains
Size: Approximately 30 to 43 inches long; 6- to 7-foot wing span

Adult bald eagles are easily recognized by their all-white head and tail on a dark brown body. They forage at large bodies of water where they find their main food source, fish and water fowl. Eagles build large stick nests that they typically return to year after year. In California they usually nest in trees more than 100 feet tall adjacent to large reservoirs and rivers. Bald eagles are likely to abandon their nesting if disturbed early in the breeding season.

General Protection Measures:

  • Prohibit any activity near active nesting sites during the breeding season (February through July).
  • Define and respect clear work area limits.
  • Do not disturb, capture, handle, or move eagles or their nests.
  • Report all dead or injured animals to the proper authorities immediately.
  • Do not litter.
  • Implementproject-specificmeasuresasrequiredbystateandfederalagencies.

Bald eagles and their habitat are protected by both the Federal and State Endangered Species Acts. Consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the California Department of Fish and Game before per- forming any work in habitat for this protected species. Penalties for harming or harassing these birds can include up to $100,000 in fines and/or one year in jail.


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