Featured Wildlife: Bald Eagle

chugach_eagle_debbiemiller 250Average life span: 28 years in the wild

Body length: 28 to 40 inches

Wingspan: 6 to 8 feet

Weight: 6.5 to 14 lbs.

Larger in Alaska: You might not have known, but females are typically about 25% larger than their male counterparts, averaging 12 lbs. to the smaller male average of 9 lbs. Less surprising is that the largest eagles are found in Alaska, where a large female may weigh up to 17 lbs. and sport a wingspan 8.0 feet across. The bald eagle is the only “sea eagle” endemic to North America; the Tongass houses the largest concentration of bald eagles in the world, while more eagles call the Chugach home than the entire Lower 48 combined.

Supersized Nests: Bald eagles are believed to mate for life, and tend to a pair of eggs each year. Combine that with the sheer size of the birds, and it shouldn’t be surprising that bald eagle nests are some of the largest in the world. The largest ever recorded was measured at nearly 10 feet wide and 20 feet deep! Such large nests require suitably large trees, which is why the towering old-growth trees of the Chugach and the Tongass are so vital to the species.