Zoo Animals


Bald eagle

Haliaeetus leucocephalus

At the Detroit Zoo
The Detroit Zoo is home to a male bald eagle who was rescued on Kodiak Island, Alaska in November 2009 after suffering a wing injury that prevented him from being released back into the wild. The Detroit Zoo collects the molted bald eagle feathers and provides them to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to be distributed to Native Americans for use in religious ceremonies. The bald eagle can be found in the American Grasslands.

The adult bald eagle has a white head and tail with dark brown bodies and wings. Their legs and bills are bright yellow. Young birds attain adult coloring in about five years.

Fun Facts

  • A symbol of strength and freedom, the bald eagle was chosen in 1782 as the National Emblem and is pictured on the Great Seal of the United States.

  • The bald eagle uses its feathers to balance. When it loses a feather on one wing, it will also lose a matching feather on the other side.

  • The bald eagle earned its name from the Old English word "balde," meaning white, referring to the distinctive white feathers covering its head and tail.