Q:

What do bald eagles eat?

A:

Quick Answer

The bald eagle's diet consists primarily of fish, though it can and will find other sources of food when fish is scarce. In fact, supplementing fish with other sources of food is an important part of a bald eagle's overall health. Small mammals, crustaceans and other small sea creatures are secondary sources of food for bald eagles.

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What do bald eagles eat?
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Full Answer

Much like with humans, having a varied diet is important for a bald eagle to maintain its health. For example, an eagle can fully digest the small bones of a fish easily, but the bones of a mammal like a rabbit or mouse cannot pass through its digestive system. These bones are stored in a pouch in the eagle's throat until enough have accumulated that they form a small, hard pellet. The eagle then regurgitates this pellet. The act of regurgitation plays an important function in maintaining the health of the eagle's digestive system.

Bald eagles catch most of their prey themselves, but they have also been known to feed opportunistically on carrion. There is even evidence of eagles descending on the carcasses of animals that are being transported by hunters, or even taking food out of dumpsters and other outside garbage cans.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Where do bald eagles live?

    A:

    Bald eagles live in North America and Alaska. The range of the bald eagle stretches from the border of Mexico, across the United States, into Canada and Alaska. In fact, bald eagles are very populous in Alaska.

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  • Q:

    Are bald eagles endangered as of 2014?

    A:

    As of 2014, bald eagles are not listed as endangered, but are threatened. However, bald eagles have been considered endangered in the past. Bald eagle numbers took a plunge in the United States due to hunting and exposure to harmful pesticides.

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  • Q:

    What are the predators of bald eagles?

    A:

    Outside of human beings, bald eagles have very few natural enemies, and adult eagles have no natural predators. Nestlings and eggs are occasionally preyed on by gulls, crows, hawks, owls, other eagles, bobcats, black bears and raccoons.

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  • Q:

    Why are bald eagles endangered?

    A:

    Bald eagles are endangered because humans have contaminated the bald eagle's food through poisonous chemicals such as DDT, destroyed their habitat areas and shot them illegally. The bald eagle is the national symbol for the United States, so the American government decided to enact the Endangered Species Act to protect the bird.

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