• Steam rises off of the colorful Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces. Photo courtesy Jacob W. Frank


    National Park ID,MT,WY

Bald Eagles


The bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) was named the national symbol of the United States by Congress in 1782. Found near open water from Mexico to Alaska, bald eagles may range over great distances but typically return to nest in the vicinity where they fledged. In Greater Yellowstone they feed primarily on fish, but also on waterfowl and carrion. Numbers declined dramatically during most of the 1900s due to habitat loss, shooting, and pesticide contamination. In 1978, the US Fish and Wildlife Service listed the bald eagle as an endangered species in 43 states, including Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. Habitat protection, restrictions on killing the birds, and restrictions on pesticide use led to population growth and delisting of the species in 2007. Bald eagles nesting in northwestern Wyoming are part of a significant Rocky Mountain breeding population that extends into Idaho and Montana. Learn more...

Quick Facts about Bald Eagles in Yellowstone

  • In 2013, park staff monitored 21 pairs of eagles.
  • Of the 21 active nests, 14 (66%) were successful, the highest success ever recorded and greater than the 30-year average of 49%.
  • In 2013, 19 young were produced. Productivity for active nests in 2013 (0.90 young per nesting female), was greater than the 30-year average (0.69).

Additional Resources

Report a sighting of this species

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