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The American Bald Eagle in Oklahoma

Article and Photos by Kathryn Mann

For eight years I have enjoyed walking through an array of fields, meadows, forests, and wetlands throughout Oklahoma, and coming face to face with more than a hundred species of birds, but it was not until this year (2010) that I have been fortunate enough to see a Bald Eagle.

American Bald Eagle
I met this Bald Eagle sitting on a log as he watched for fish in the Caney River outside of Bartlesville

The Bald Eagle is truly a majestic bird measuring about 3 feet from head to tail and weighing as much as 15 pounds. I saw several Bald Eagles this Winter and Spring in and around Bartlesville. None of them seemed particularly alarmed as I came within 15 yards of where they were sitting. I saw one speeding through the air one morning toward a fish in the Caney River. They can fly as fast as 60 miles per hour and dive even quicker at 100 miles per hour.

Bald Eagle soaring
This Bald Eagle has spotted a fish in a nearby lake. She came soaring down more than 80 feet from a tall oak treee where she was perched.

The Bald Eagle has been the national symbol of the United States since 1782. These birds are found in every state in America except Hawaii. Bald Eagles mate for life and live an average of 20 years in the wild and 40 years in captivity. Bald Eagles remain brown until they are four or five even though they are often the same size as adults. It develops white head and tail feathers around the age of four or five. They stand at a height of 2½ - 3 feet tall and weigh about 10-14 pounds. Their wing span is 6-8 feet.

Bald Eagles have incredible eye sight. They can see objects clearly 1.5 miles away. The Bald Eagle is not bald. The name of the bird comes from the Old English world "balde" which means white. Adult Bald Eagles have a white head and tail with a brown body. The adult also has bright yellow eyes which I have seen up-close.

Bald Eagle up close
This American Bald Eagle seemed to be as curious about me as was of him.

The Bald Eagle's primary food source is fish, though they will catch and eat ducks, rodents, and snakes. The Bald Eagle has always been a rare bird. Even 200 years ago there were no more than 25,000 in the lower 48 states. By 1960 loss of habitat, hunting, and pesticides had reduced that number to less than 450.

 
 

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Holly      6:42 PM Tue 9/4/2012

We just visited Cedar Lake Recreation area in SE Ok. While swimming, two very large birds were hunting the lake and gliding in large circle patterns, gaining altitude very quickly and moving areas a lot. THey both had white heads, with some whitish underneath and kind of a brown color. I was positive they were Bald Eagles, maybe the nesting pair from Robber's Cave hunting. But their tails were not white. Any input on whether they could have been Eagles, or perhaps something else? They didn't stay longer than 20 minutes.
 

Featherduster      8:25 PM Sat 9/1/2012

I noticed on this website, you can see a LOT of birds in Bartlesville, OK.
I NEED to go to Bartlesville. I did take a picture of the American Bald Eagle at the Tulsa Zoo.

 


Uplifting Visions
a guide to happiness, good health, and success
Charly Mann in a Hawaiian shirt
by Charly Mann

From the age of seven I have been enchanted with the idea of living happily ever after, and have made it a life quest to find that answer. I have spoken to hundreds of people – usually older and wiser than me, and read countless books and articles on the subject. In my website Uplifting Visions I share what I consider the best insights I have learned about achieving happiness in life.



Oklahoma Birds Listed by Color

Red
House Finch - male (carpodacus mexicanus)
Purple Finch - male (carpodacus purpureus)
Northern Cardinal - male (cardinalis cardinalis)
Painted Bunting - male (passerina ciris)
Summer Tanager - male (piranga rubra)

Orange
Baltimore Oriole - male (icterus galbula)
Orchard Oriole - male (icterus spurius)

Yellow
Yellow Warbler (dendroica petechia )
Baltimore Oriole - female (icterus galbula)
Orchard Oriole - female (icterus spurius)
Summer Tanager - female (piranga rubra)
Yellow Goldfinch - male (carduelis tristis)
Western Kingbird (tyrannus verticalis)
Eastern Meadowlark (sturnella magna)

Green
Malard - male (anas platyrhynchos)
Dark-eyed Junco - female (junco hyemalis)
Ruby-throated Hummingbird (archilochus colubris)
Painted Bunting - female (passerina ciris)
Green Heron (butorides virescens)

Blue
Barn Swallow (hirundo rustica)
Belted Kingfisher (ceryle alcyon)
Blue Jay (cyanocitta cristata)
Blue Grosbeak - male (guiraca caerulea)
Eastern Bluebird (sailia sialis)
Indigo Bunting - male (passerina cyanea)
Purple Martin - male (progne subis)

Grey
Great Blue Heron (ardea herodias)
Carolina Chickadee (poecile carolinensis)
Eastern Screech-Owl (otus asio)
Red-breasted Nuthatch (sitta canadensis)
Grey Catbird (dumetella carolinensis)
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (regulus calendula)
Scissor-Tailed Flycatcher (tyrannus forficatus)
White-breasted Nuthatch (sitta carolinensis)
Tufted Titmouse (baelophus bicolor)
American Robin (turdus migratorius)
Northern Mockingbird (mimus polyglottos)
Mississippi Kite (ictinia mississippiensis)
Dickcissel (spiza americana)

Black
American Crow (corvus brachyrhynchos)
Brown-headed Cowbird - male (molothrus ater)
European Starling (sturnus vulgaris)
Common Grackle (quiscalus quiscula)
Red-winged Blackbird - male (agelaius phoeniceus)
Spotted Towhee (pipilo maculatus)
Turkey Vulture (cathartes aura)

Black & White
American Bald Eagle (haliaeetus leucocephalus)
Black-billed Magpie (pica hudsonia)
Downey Woodpecker (picoides pubescens)
Red-Bellied Woodpecker (melanerpes carolinus)
Purple Martin - female (progne subis)
Eastern Kingbird (tyrannus tyrannus)
Dark-eyed Junco - male (junco hyemalis)
Loggerhead Shrike (lanius ludovicianus)

Brown
American Kestrel (falco sparverius)
Blue Grosbeak - female (guiraca caerulea)
Brown-headed Cowbird - female (molothrus ater)
Brown Thrasher (toxostoma rufum)
Common Nighthawk (chordeiles minor)
Carolina Wren (thryothorus ludovicianus)
Cedar Waxwing (bombycilla cedrorum)
Greater Roadrunner (geococcyx californianus)
Killdeer (charadrius vociferus)
Northern Bobwhite (colinus virginianus)
Red-tailed Hawk (buteo jamaicensis)
Cliff Swallow (petrochelidon pyrrhonota)
Horned Lark (eremophila alpestris)
House Finch - female (carpodacus mexicanus)
Northern Flicker (colaptes auratus)
Yellow-billed Cuckoo (coccyzus americanus)
Mourning Dove (zenaida macroura)
Malard - female (anas platyrhynchos)
Purple Finch - female (carpodacus purpureus)
House Sparrow (passer domesticus)
Indigo Bunting - female (passerina cyanea)
Red-winged Blackbird - female (agelaius phoeniceus)
Spotted Sandpiper (actitis macularia)
Upland Sandpiper (bartramia longicauda)
Northern Cardinal - female (cardinalis cardinalis)
Eastern Screech-Owl (otus asio)
Yellow Goldfinch - female (carduelis tristis)
Canada Goose (branta canadensis)

Various
Wild Birds of Northeast OK

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