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

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    How do bald eagles communicate?

    A:

    Bald eagles, or Haliaeetus leucocephalus, communicate with their mates and against rivals though vocal calls such as chatters, wails and peals, as well as with visual displays such as complex flying routines, head movements, wing flaps and crouching. Chatters sound like small "kwit kwit" noises, while a peal is a long, shrieking cry.

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  • Q:

    What eats bald eagles?

    A:

    Adult bald eagles sit at the top of the food chain and have no natural predators. Bald eagle eggs, on the other hand, can become damaged by animals such as raccoons and crows, which can expose the eggs to bacteria and prevent them from hatching. Humans are the primary unnatural predators of bald eagles and pose more of a risk to them than anything else on Earth.

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    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:

    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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