Last Updated on May 4, 2023 by Lily Aldrin
Hello readers, in this article, I will be discussing two types of eagles that can be found in Louisiana.
Eagles are magnificent birds of prey and are a symbol of strength and freedom.
Louisiana is home to two species of eagles, the bald eagle and the golden eagle.
Join me as we explore the characteristics, habitats, and behaviors of these impressive birds.
Types of Eagles in Louisiana
1. Bald Eagle
It’s possible to see Bald Eagles across Louisiana at any time of the year, but the winter months of October through April see a significant rise in their population.
Just one percent of summer lists and eight percent of winter lists throughout the state have them.
There is no other bird of prey as well-known as the Bald Eagle.
Its head is white, its eyes are yellow, and its bill is a massive hook of yellow.
It possesses a chocolate brown torso and big talons on its yellow legs.
To the naked eye, females resemble males quite closely; nevertheless, they are roughly 26% bigger.
Until they reach the age of five, juveniles possess dark brown bodies and heads having white streaking or mottling.
The majority of bald eagles’ nesting grounds are in Canada; however, these birds spend the wintertime throughout the United States.
Nonetheless, particularly in coastal areas, there are others who want to spend the whole year there.
Throughout the spring and summer, the Bald Eagle migrates to wetland areas to nest.
The ideal place has open, expansive waterways having fish.
Bald eagles prefer towering old trees while roosting, breeding, or perching so that they can view the woodland ground below.
They also want water bodies and open structures.
Bald Eagles group throughout the winter months in large numbers in areas with an abundance of perches near bodies of water that have not frozen over and contain fish.
To find unfrozen water, bald eagles typically go to open places with animals of comparable sizes, such as grasslands and pastures.
The bald eagle is known to consume almost everything it can get its beak on.
They usually eat fish, especially large species such as trout and salmon.
In certain cases, they may even take fish from other birds in order to feed themselves.
Carrion fish (dead) is another source of food.
Ducks, herons, owls, and geese are all examples of big birds that fall within their diet range.
During the winter, when fish are few, bald eagles turn to kill animals.
At first, they’ll go for the sick, young, or dying.
They go on the prowl for squirrels, hares, beavers, raccoons, and baby deer.
In spite of its massive size, the Bald Eagle has a relatively unimpressive high-pitchy call.
Bald eagles are enormous and heavy birds; therefore, their nests must be as substantial.
A stick nest, about Six feet wide and four feet high, is what they construct.
The male gathers the raw materials, like downy plumage, moss, sticks, and grass, while the female does the actual crafting.
The nests of bald eagles are the biggest of any species of bird in the Americas.
In the wild, females might potentially lay anywhere from 2 to 4 eggs each year.
They have the potential to hatch eight eggs if kept in captivity.
The eggs are incubated by both parents for 36 days.
Whichever isn’t guarding the nest has the privilege of foraging for the other’s sustenance while they’re away.
Since 1782, the Bald Eagle has stood as the official American emblem.
It has the moniker “bald,” yet it doesn’t have any hair.
The word “bald” meant “white,” referent to the creature’s white forehead and tail.
2. Golden Eagle
There have been a few documented sightings of golden eagles across Louisiana throughout the years, although these sightings have occurred mostly in the winter season.
Recently, they were sighted at the Richland and White Lake Marshes Nature Preserve.
The Golden Eagle is among the most dispersed eagle species.
Under the correct light, the golden brown of their neck and forehead is stunning.
They have mostly brown bodies with lighter flying feathers.
The shade of their eyes will be from light yellowish to dark brown.
The skin that links the beak to the head is yellow (this is the cere), and the tip of their black bill stands out.
Adults of both sexes look similar; however, females tend to be slightly bigger overall.
Similar to the adults, but often darker (occasionally black on the back), is the juvenile population.
Furthermore, they possess some white coloration on the tail and white spots beneath their wings.
Asia’s Golden Eagle, Europe’s Golden Eagle, Japan’s Golden Eagle, Iberia’s Golden Eagle, Kamchatka’s Golden Eagle, and North American Golden Eagle are the six well-known varieties of Golden Eagle.
You can tell them apart by looking at their size and the subtle color variances in their plumage.
Birds of prey that spend the summer across Canada and Alaska go south toward the United States of America and northern Mexico as winter sets in.
In contrast, western US states have year-round populations of golden eagles.
Golden Eagles prefer high alpine environments, much above the tree line.
During the nesting season, they may also be found among rivers, on cliffs beside bluffs, and in canyons.
They tend to stay apart from other species.
The Golden Eagle is a predatory bird; thus, it seems to sense that it would feed mostly on hares, rabbits, and prairie dogs.
They have been reported to occasionally chase and kill bigger species, such as swans, cranes, and even sheep.
They often hunt in couples, with one member of the pair first following the target until it becomes exhausted.
During the mating season, once chicks are starving and parents are responding, Golden Eagles make the most of their sounds.
Other than that, they don’t create much noise.
They communicate through whistles of a high pitchy call.
Often, cliffs provide ideal nesting sites for the Golden Eagle.
In addition to natural settings like trees, they also construct nests in man-made ones like lookout towers, nesting platforms, and windmills.
They’re elevated so that they can survey their area with ease.
It may take a pair of golden eagles anything from a month to four months to construct a nest out of twigs and other plant material.
They go as far as lining their nests with scented leaves in the hopes of warding off mosquitoes and other pests.
These nests are reused yearly by males, who gradually increase their size by adding more and more building materials.
The female hatches anything from two to five eggs, which are then incubated by parents for 41.5 days.
After 37 hours, the egg will hatch, and the chick will emerge.
Just three raptors in the Americas, the Rough-legged Hawk, the Golden Eagle, and the Ferruginous Hawk, have full plumage coverage from their knees to their toes.
In conclusion, the bald eagle and golden eagle are two remarkable birds that call Louisiana their home.
Both species have unique characteristics, habitats, and behaviors that make them fascinating to observe and study.
Despite facing numerous threats, including habitat loss and human interference, these eagles continue to thrive and adapt to their environments.
It is our responsibility to protect these majestic birds and their habitats to ensure their survival for generations to come.
Let us appreciate the beauty and importance of these eagles, and do our part to conserve their populations and habitats.
What are the two types of eagles that can be found in Louisiana?
Louisiana is home to two species of eagles, the bald eagle and the golden eagle.
What is the difference between the bald eagle and the golden eagle?
The bald eagle has a white head and tail and a brown body, while the golden eagle is mostly brown with some golden coloring on its head and neck.
Where can these eagles be found in Louisiana?
Both eagles can be found in various habitats throughout Louisiana, including wetlands, forests, and grasslands.
What do these eagles eat?
Both bald eagles and golden eagles are carnivorous and feed on a variety of prey, including fish, mammals, and birds.
Are these eagles protected by law?
Yes, both the bald eagle and the golden eagle are protected under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, which prohibits anyone from harming, disturbing, or possessing these eagles or their eggs.
What threats do these eagles face in Louisiana?
Both eagles face threats such as habitat loss, pollution, electrocution, and illegal hunting.
How can we help protect these eagles?
We can help protect these eagles by supporting conservation efforts, reporting any illegal activity, and reducing our impact on their habitats through responsible use of resources and land.