Wikipedia:Today's featured article/September 22, 2007

A bald eagle

The Bald Eagle is a bird of prey found in North America, most recognizable as the national bird and symbol of the United States. This sea eagle has two known subspecies and forms a species pair with the White-tailed Eagle. Its range includes most of Canada, all of the continental United States, and northern Mexico. It is found near large bodies of open water with an abundant food supply and old-growth trees for nesting. The Bald Eagle is a large bird, with a body length of 71–96 cm (28–38 in), a wingspan of 168–244 cm (66–88 inches), and a weight of 3–6.3 kg (6.6–14 pounds); females are about 25 percent larger than males. The adult Bald Eagle has a brown body with a white head and tail, and bright yellow irises, taloned feet, and a hooked beak; juveniles are completely brown except for the yellow feet. Males and females are identical in plumage coloration. Its diet consists mainly of fish, but it is an opportunistic feeder. It hunts fish by swooping down and snatching the fish out of the water with its talons. It is sexually mature at four or five years of age. The species was on the brink of extirpation in the continental United States (while flourishing in much of Alaska and Canada) late in the 20th century, but now has a stable population and has been officially removed from the U.S. federal government's endangered species list. The Bald Eagle was officially reclassified from "Endangered" to "Threatened" on July 12, 1995 by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, and delisted on June 28, 2007. (more...)

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