So we had a little excitement Saturday...
On a trail by the Missouri.
Here's a favorite inflight photo:
Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)
The bald eagle is uncommon in North Dakota and is usually seen along the Missouri River in late fall/early winter and in the spring during migration to its northern breeding grounds.
Bald eagles do not acquire their white-colored head and tail until about 4 years of age.
The bald eagle feeds primarily on fish.
Feb 2010 NDOutdoors magazine:
Nesting in Numbers - Active Bald Eagle Nests Up in ND - Feb 2010 - (330Kb PDF)
pdf direct link
It wasn’t until the mid-2000s that the number of nesting eagles climbed in North Dakota.
To date, North Dakota Game and Fish Department biologists have logged 103 individual nest sites, some of which are no longer in use because the trees have fallen or the eagles abandoned the sites.
In 2009, Game and Fish biologists estimated that 66 nests were occupied by bald eagles, though not all eagle nest sites were visited and verified. Bald eagle nests have now been reported in 29 of 53 North Dakota counties.
Cornell has some good juvenile photos alongside the golden eagle for comparison.
I'd love to get photos of the golden eagle too.