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2024: Colorado’s Bald Eagle Population the Largest Ever

eagle
Eagle. Image by G.C. via Pixabay

According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife, bald eagle populations are flourishing. There are over 300 nesting, suggesting this is just the beginning of their boom.

With a 17% increase from 2022, bald eagles are making a remarkable comeback. During the 1970s, following a deadly insecticide that wiped out eagle populations countrywide, they had to claw their way back to avoid extinction.

The irony is that, to most mammals, eagles are the most feared predators, able to catch prey without warning, yet they’ve been deteriorating to modern farming practices. But the kings of the skies are on a long flight back, and it’s looking good.

Dietary Habits

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A photo of four American Bald Eagles sitting on a perch. Image by lowthian via Depositphotos

Ruthless and opportunistic hunters with a diverse diet; while they prefer fish – they’re known to build nests near bodies of water – and other small mammals like birds, and carrion, they’re known to prey on snakes and mice.

Armoured by powerful talons and hooked beaks, they can catch and tear apart prey in seconds, giving them, when caught, little to no chance of survival.

Additionally, like vultures, bald eagles are known to scavenge for food, often stealing from other predators or feeding on carcasses.

Habitat

bald eagle
Image by Darrell Gough via Pexels

Spotted across North America, from Alaska and Canada to northern Mexico, they often nest near large bodies of water, such as lakes, rivers, and coastal areas, to ensure ample food sources. In Colorado, bald eagles can be found nesting near reservoirs, rivers, and wetlands, where they can fish and raise their young in relative safety.

Flight Speed and Adaptations

Bald eagle
Bald eagle soaring through the air. Image by Stephen Meyers via Pexels.

Equipped with laser sharp eyesight, which allows them to spot animals from high above, combined with their strong wings enable them to soar effortlessly for hours at a time, they’re feared apex predators.

Known to reach incredible speeds while showcasing mesmerizing agility, their wingspan can reach up to 7 feet, capable of reaching speeds of up to 40 miles per hour during level flight and even faster when diving to catch prey.

Conservation Success and Continued Protection

bald eagle national animal of the U.S.
Image by Veronika_Andrews via pixabay

The revival of bald eagles in Colorado shines a light on the positive effects conservation efforts have. Measures, including habitat preservation, nesting site management, and restrictions on hunting and pesticide use have played a crucial role in allowing bald eagle populations to rebound. However, continued vigilance and conservation efforts are needed to ensure that bald eagles remain a symbol of strength and freedom for generations to come.

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bald eagle national animal of the U.S.
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