FPL | Southern Bald Eagle Quick Reference

Southern Bald Eagle Quick Reference

Some facts about the southern bald eagle are listed in the table below.




  • Adults can grow to three feet tall and have an eight-foot wingspan.
  • Only adults have a distinctive white head and tail contrasting with a dark body. Young eagles are dark brown until they mature. Males and females look alike.


  • Bald eagles are found throughout North America, yet within the United States, more eagles nest in Florida than in any other state except Alaska.
  • Many eagles travel hundreds of miles north for the summer and return to Florida in the fall.


  • Preferred food is fish, yet they also eat waterfowl, small mammals, reptiles, and dead animals such as stranded fish and road kills.


  • During the 2001-2002 Florida breeding season, over 1,100 pairs of eagles were counted averaging 1.5 young per active nest. The total population of bald eagles is estimated at 3,000 - 4,000 birds.
  • Eagles prefer to nest in tall trees within a mile of water, usually choosing a pine. Nest sites have open views of the surrounding area. Nesting trees are used year after year.
  • Eagles pair for life but, if one of the two dies, the survivor will find another mate.
  • Florida's eagles nest during the winter. One to four eggs are incubated for about 32 days. Both parents help raise their young.