According to the World Animal Foundation, January 18 is Bald Eagle Appreciation Day. Here are a few fun facts about these majestic birds found along the James River in #RVA and right here at Maymont:
- The bald eagle is the only eagle found exclusively on the North American continent, ranging from Alaska to the northern border of Mexico and from the Pacific coast to the Atlantic.
- Maymont’s bald eagles have permanent injuries that prevent them from flying. Our animal keepers do not clip their wings.
- Bald eagles have made a significant comeback since they were protected under the 1973 Endangered Species Act. In 1975, there were no breeding pairs along the entire shoreline of the James River, but by 2015, the area was home to 236 pairs. (In 2007, bald eagles were formally “de-listed” or removed, from the Federal Endangered Species list.)
- A bald eagle has 7,000 feathers, with several layers and kinds of feathers. Eagle feathers are lightweight, yet extremely strong, and they are hollow, yet highly flexible.
- The eyesight of the bald eagle is 3 to 4 times stronger than that of humans. The eagle eye contains two foveae or concentrated areas of cones on the back of the eye. Humans have only one fovea, used for binocular or forward vision allowing us to distinguish depth. The eagle contains a binocular fovea like ours, but also has a fovea for monocular vision which allows it to look sideways.
- It costs $5,500 per year to care for and feed the two bald eagles at Maymont!
You can support the bald eagles at Maymont with a symbolic Adopt an Animal donation of as little as $25 per year. Animal adoptions include tickets to the Nature Center, animal trading cards and more. Adopt today.