Living or visiting Florida usually means spending a considerable amount of time outside. We hope you use some of this time to visit us and spend some time on the water with us. While on the water you will see a number of different animals including birds. One of the most interesting and loved birds by many is the bald eagle. So what do you know about bald eagles? Let’s look at some information you might find interesting and informative the next time you see a bald eagle.
Are There Many Bald Eagles In Florida?
Yes, there are more here than you might realize. Florida has one of the densest concentrations of nesting bald eagles in the United States. There are over 1,500 nesting pairs in Florida mostly concentrated around significant lake, river and coastal systems throughout the state. The population of eagles has grown so much over the years that in 2007 it was removed from the endangered species list. Although still protected under federal law, their population number are healthy once again. So while you are here, or out on the water paddle boarding, there is a good chance you might see an eagle.
Tell Me More About The Eagles
Bald eagles aren’t really bald. Actually word bald used to describe the bird comes from an older meaning of the word, “white headed”. The juveniles are brown and get a white head and tail when they mature. Eagles are not mature enough to mate until they are 4 or 5 years old. While out on the water you may first notice eagles nests before you see the birds. The nest of the bald eagle builds the largest nest of any bird in North America. Nests have been recorded over 13ft deep and 8ft wide weighing over 1 ton! Now thats a large birds nest. If you see an eagle you will find it difficult to know if it is a male or female. The birds do not look different, only that females can be about 25% larger than the males. They also are opportunistic feeders, usually enjoying fresh fish they have plucked from the waters around where they live and nest.
Keep in mind that if you do see an eagle you should not provoke or bother them. Being a protected animal you could receive a fine. If happen to ever find one that is injured, or in trouble you should call Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at 888-404-3922 anytime day or night. Stay safe out of the water, and we hope to see you soon!