Bald Eagle

BALD EAGLE, Chilkat River, Alaska | Photo Caption: Excerpted from North America: A World in One Continent by Huw Cordey | ARKive Animal Profile: Bald Eagle
Jeff Foott/DCI

During the months from October and February, more than thirty-five hundred bald eagles will congregate at the Chilkat River in southeastern Alaska and British Columbia – the largest bald eagle gathering in the world — for a late salmon run. As the eagles descend on the river, competition for salmon is intense, and fights break out.

These eagles weigh about thirteen pounds (6 kg), have a wingspan of seven feet (2.1 m), and have a razor-sharp beak and talons to match, so fights can be ferocious and the winter of the prized salmon will carry it off to the trees on the river bank – providing they can carry it. A bald eagle can manage to carry five pounds (2.3 kg), so she will eat what she can of a bigger fish until flying with it is possible.

EXPLORE THE FROZEN NORTH: Tree Frog | Black Bear | Caribou | Gray Wolf | Brown Bear | Garter Snake | Bald Eagle | Elk | Chipmunk | Beaver | All North American Animals

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