3 Types of Eagles in Texas

Last Updated on November 17, 2022 by Lily Aldrin

Eagles are the prototypical “King of the Sky” because of their massive size and impressive strength.

Eagles are a symbol of strength and power because of the respect and awe humans feel for them.

Texas is home to a smaller variety of eagles, unlike other raptors.

Across the whole continent, you will only be able to witness a handful of different species.

In this article, I have listed 3 Types of Eagles in Texas.

ImageName
Bald EagleBald Eagle
Steller’s Sea-EagleSteller’s Sea-Eagle
Golden EagleGolden Eagle

Types of Eagles in Texas

1. Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

While bald eagles may be seen in Texas at any time of the year, the winter months (October through March) offer prime viewing.

There are 2% of wintertime checklists for the state that includes them.

Appearance

The Bald Eagle is one of the most well-known birds of prey worldwide.

Its head is white, its eyes are yellow, and its bill is a massive hook of yellow.

Its legs are golden and armed with enormous talons, while its torso is chocolate brown.

Females resemble men in appearance but are 25 % bigger on average. Until they reach their 5th year, juveniles possess dark brownish heads and bodies with varied white mottling or streaking.

During the winter, bald eagles travel south to the United States from their breeding grounds across Canada.

However, particularly in coastal areas, there are others who want to spend the whole year there.

Habitat

During the summer and spring, the Bald Eagle migrates to wetland areas to nest. Ideal locations have open, expansive bodies of water teeming with fish.

Bald eagles need mature, tall trees while roosting, perching, or breeding because of the improved sight they provide; they also want trees with an open structure that provides a clear view of the forest floor, and they always like to be near water.

Bald eagles congregate in the winter near bodies of water that are too shallow to freeze over and have an abundance of fish to warrant the risk of flying in.

Bald Eagles tend to flock in open environments with medium-sized animals, such as meadows and grasslands when there is no unfrozen water supply accessible.

Food

The bald eagle is known for its opportunistic feeding habits, which means it will consume whatever is most readily accessible.

Large fish like trout and salmon are some of their favorites. It’s possible that these birds either actively search for these fish or steal them from other species.

Carrion (dead) fish is another food source.

Ducks, geese, herons, and owls are all examples of larger species that fall within their diet. When fishing is less fruitful in the winter, bald eagles switch to hunting animals.

The prey most likely to fall victim to their attacks will be young, weak, or sick animals.

They go on the prowl for prey such as beavers, hares, raccoons, squirrels, and baby deer.

Words Spoken by a Bald Eagle: The Bald Eagle’s high-pitched, unimpressive whistle belies its massive stature.

Read:  2 Types of Eagles in Connecticut (CT)

The Bald Eagle’s nest must be spacious and well-built to accommodate the bird’s considerable bulk. The stick nest they construct is roughly Six feet in length and four feet in height.

The male gathers the materials—including moss, grass, sticks, and downy feathers—while the female assembles them.

The nests of bald eagles are the biggest of any bird in the Americas.

In the wild, a female may hatch anywhere from 1 to 3 eggs each year. Captive females have been seen to deposit as many as seven eggs.

The eggs are incubated by both parents for 35 days. Whoever isn’t guarding the nest’s eggs has to go out and get the other person’s next meal.

Since 1782, the American Bald Eagle has stood as the country’s official emblem. Although it goes by the moniker “bald,” it lacks hair.

The original “bald” meant “white,” a reference to the animal’s whitish head and tail.

2. Steller’s Sea-Eagle

Steller’s Sea-Eagle

The Steller’s Sea Eagle is a species that is classified as an accidental species within the state of Texas, in addition to being an endangered species.

Only in the general vicinity of Coleto Creek Reservoir & Park, they’ve been seen.

Appearance

The Steller’s sea-eagle is the biggest member of its genus, Haliaeetus, as well as the largest member of its family, Haliaeetidae.

It may weigh anywhere between 5 and 9 kilograms, with females being bigger than males throughout the board.

It has yellow eyes that have a black pupils and an extremely long, hooked bill that is yellow in color.

The top of its head is white. Its shoulders, legs, wings, abdomen, and tail are white, while the rest of its body is either dark brown or black.

It has yellow feet having talons that are quite sharp.

Juveniles are quite identical to adults, with the exception that they lack whitish shoulders and also have black tips to the ends of their tails.

It usually takes kids around 4 years to reach the mature coloring that adults have.

There is an extremely uncommon dark morph of the Steller’s Sea-Eagle with all black plumage aside from the white feathers on its tail.

Range

The rocky seacoasts and rivers within the northeastern region of Siberia throughout Russia are often the best places to see a Steller’s Sea Eagle.

During the winter, they go to Korea, China, and Japan, where they spend their time in coastal regions and lakes that are close to the ocean.

Nevertheless, they are known to go to North America on occasion.

Food

Fish are one of the Steller’s Sea Eagle’s favorite foods, especially river fish such as trout and salmon, which they search in shallow water for.

They also devour salmon that have died after spawning since these salmon are more plentiful and accessible in locations that have water that is not frozen over in the fall.

They might even hunt and consume aquatic birds such as geese, cranes, ducks, and swans in other parts of their range.

Additionally, mammals make up a portion of their diet. The American mink, the red fox, the Arctic fox, and small domestic dogs are their preferred prey.

Read:  4 Types of Eagles in North America

Habitat

The “aeries” of Steller’s Sea Eagles are constructed as high as 100 feet over the ground, either on the branches of trees or along the rocky outcrops of cliffs.

They are named “aeries” for this reason. Even though they are at a great height, they nevertheless remain relatively near to the water.

This allows them to have simple and quick food access from their nests.

Sticks and branches are used to construct enormous nests that are made by Steller’s Sea Eagles.

They often reuse these nests; therefore, in order to maintain their stability and strength, they continually add additional twigs and branches to the structure of the nest.

The female will hatch anything from one to three eggs in the nest that they have selected.

The incubation period might run for up to forty-five days. When the chicks finally do hatch, they will need as much care as possible since it will be at least a couple of months before they are able to take flight.

The Steller’s Sea Eagle is classified as “Vulnerable” as a result of the risks posed by the degradation of its habitat, excessive fishing, and industrial pollution.

There have been observations of Steller’s Sea Eagles constructing a second backup nest on occasion.

This is done in the case that the first nest grows so heavy that the trees it is perched on are unable to support the weight and fall.

3. Golden Eagle

Golden Eagle

Rarely seen in the Lone Star State, Golden Eagles may be seen all year long in the western regions of Texas.

Appearance

There are no other eagles as extensively dispersed as the golden eagle. Their neck and head are a stunning shade of golden brown.

Their flying plumage is lighter in color than the rest of their bodies. They have eye colors ranging from pale yellow to deep brown.

The skin that connects the beak to the forehead, known as the core, is bright yellow on these birds, and their darkly-tipped bills are easily distinguishable.

Adult males and females appear the same, although women tend to be somewhat bigger overall.

Juveniles resemble adults, but their coloring is often deeper, and they may even seem black when seen from the rear.

The undersides of their wings and the tips of their tails are both white.

Range

Europe’s Golden Eagle, Asia’s Golden Eagle, the North American Golden Eagle, Kamchatka’s Golden Eagle, Japan’s Golden Eagle, and Iberia’s Golden Eagle are the six recognized varieties of Golden Eagle.

The primary ways in which these birds vary from one another are in terms of size and subtle variances in the colors of their plumage.

During the winter, golden eagles from Alaska and Canada migrate to northern Mexico and south to the United States, where the climate is more favorable.

Golden eagles, on the other hand, spend the whole year in the western states of the United States.

Habitat

Golden Eagles like high-altitude environments, and you may locate them in the mountains above the tree line. When breeding, they may also be seen along river cliffs, canyons, and on bluffs.

Read:  4 Types of Eagles in North America

They often try to stay away from others.

Food

Because of their status as predators, Golden Eagles naturally target tiny to medium-sized animals such as prairie hares, rabbits, and dogs.

From time to time, they might even pursue and kill more substantial targets, such as cranes, swans, or even domestic cattle. They often work in teams, with one member pursuing the target until it tires and the other swooping in to finish it off.

The major time a Golden Eagle makes a call is during the mating season when the young are begging their parents for food. Apart from that, they don’t make much noise. They communicate via whistles of a very high pitch.

Golden Eagles often build their nests on cliff faces or other very high locations.

Their nests may be found in trees, but they sometimes construct them on man-made structures like lookout nesting stations and towers, now even windmills.

They are constructed on a high perch to provide the parents a good view of their territory when they are tending to their young and going out for food.

The nesting process for the golden eagle, which is made of twigs and plant material, may take anything between one to 3 months.

They go as far as using fragrant leaves to line their nests and keep the bugs away. The adults reuse these nests year after year, adding new materials each time.

One to three eggs are laid by the female, and the family takes turns incubating them for 41.6 days. After 38 hours, the chick emerges from the egg. 

Only three American birds of prey, the Ferruginous Hawk, the Golden Eagle, and the Rough-legged Hawk, possess plumage all the way down to their toes.

Check out this article on Types of Eagles in North America.

Conclusion

Eagles have a strong physical and psychological connection to humans, earning them the nickname “King of the Sky” due to their massive stature and powerful wings.

Humans hold eagles in high esteem because they have traditionally associated them with a sense of strength and power. They’ve helped us out on the hunting front, too.

I’d like to think that by the end of this article, you’ll be familiar with several of the eagle species found in Taxes.

You should just get started already. Get your camera and go take a look at these spectacular birds of prey in texas.

FAQ

Where in the Lone Star State do eagles make their nests?

Breeding Bald Eagles may be found in Texas at altitudes ranging from the coast to above 3,600 feet (1,100 meters; Oberholser 1974) in and around big bodies of water (ocean coasts, large lakes, reservoirs, and marshes, swamps, and rivers).

Which eagle species may be found within East Texas?

You may see a bald eagle in several parts of the state. From October through July, bald eagles may be sighted across East Texas and along the coast from Houston to Rockport, where they have established nests. Non-nesting bald eagles spend the winter across Texas, mostly in Central Texas, Panhandle, and East Texas.

About Lily Aldrin

I am Lily Aldrin. I attended Cornell University, where I obtained my degree to become an Ornithologist so I could pursue my love of these magnificent creatures in and out of their natural habitats.