The bald eagle is one of the largest birds in the Northeast. In profile, as it flies toward you, its wings are held straight out; the more common turkey vulture soars with its wings held in a V-shape. As the eagle passes overhead, the feathers at the tips of its wings are widely separated, and its relatively short tail is usually fanned open.
Height: 30 inches
Weight: 8-12 pounds
Wing Span: 6-7 feet
Adult Color: (by about 5 years)
- white head and tail
- dark brown body and wings
- bright orange-yellow beak and feet
- lemon yellow iris
- chocolate brown mottled with white
- black beak gradually lightens to a spotty horn color
- dark brown iris gradually lightens to pale yellow
Male and female eagles look identical, although females are usually the larger of the two.
Females weigh 10 - 14 pounds, while males generally weigh 8 - 10 pounds. Females have a longer beak and longer back toe.
Although not common (only 1 or 2 along the Upper Delaware annually) the golden eagle is frequently mistaken for an immature bald eagle.