Our Bald Eagle: Literally the Biggest, Baddest Bird in North America
Author’s note: At the start of winter in 2012, I drove past a cornfield just outside Rensselaer and spotted a large bird sitting in the empty, frosted rows. I did a double-take and slammed on the brakes, pulling to the side of the road.
The large bird in the snowy field was a bald eagle. Its brilliant white head was the size of a teenager’s fist. The head bobbed up, staring around and then darted back down, plunging its beak into lunch. It was the first time I had ever seen a bald eagle in Indiana. Seeing it was…pretty cool.
The largest raptor in North America, the bald eagle is a magnificent animal both as a familiar symbol of the United States and as a species in its own right. Once upon a time its numbers fell dangerously low because of hunting, habitat loss and the use of DDT, but once again it is flourishing in the United States. AND in Indiana.
Many bird species have fairly little sexual dimorphism (physiological differences between male and female), but not the bald eagle. Although there is no difference in colors or plumage Between the sexes, female bald eagles are typically 25% larger than males.