Lake Pueblo State Park
Bald Eagles are the most recognized raptor (bird of prey) in North America. In 1782, when they became our national symbol, it was estimated that there were around 50,000 Bald Eagles. In 1967 they were placed on the endangered species list after their numbers were depleted to less than 2,000 birds.
Today, Bald Eagles have made a remarkable comeback, with biologists estimating that there are over 10,000 in the lower 48 states.
A Bald Eagles’ uniform brown body and contrasting white body and tail make them easily recognizable. Both male and females have yellow beaks and long talons, but the female is slightly larger than the male. Juvenile Bald Eagles are not so easy to recognize. Juveniles will not develop their white head and tail until they are 4-5 years old. At that time, their beak will also start to change to yellow. They are often mistaken for golden eagles until these changes take place.
When viewing and photographing Bald Eagles, be careful not to get too close. Repeated disturbances could drive the birds away from desirable locations like Lake Pueblo State Park.
Bald Eagles are protected by the Endangered Species Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. Anyone who disturbs or harms a Bald Eagle may be assessed a maximum penalty of $100,000.00, up to three years in jail, suspension of hunting and fishing privileges, and/or forfeiture of any vehicles/vessels used in the disturbance. ANY trespass into a closure area by people or pets is viewed as harassment and/or harm of an endangered species.
Tips for Viewing Eagles
Bring binoculars or a spotting scope for viewing the eagles while they roost. Viewing is usually best during the early morning or late evening hours, especially on warmer days. The eagles are sensitive to human activity.
© Ken Archer 2002