April 8, 2012

SandBoxBlogs: Summit Daily News "Summit Outside: Bald eagle: more than just a national symbol"

Dr. Joanne Stolen:
"It is always a treat to see bald eagles. Not only is it a national symbol, but it is a magnificent bird, so distinctive with its white head. The name “bald” comes from the word piebald, and refers to the white head and tail feathers.

In the past several weeks there have been a lot of pictures posted of bald eagles on Facebook and reported local sightings of bald eagles. I came across a website of “Fun Things to do in Summit County” and one of them is: watch bald eagles. We see them regularly around Dillon Reservoir and a nesting pair has been seen recently nesting on the shores of Green Mountain Reservoir. During the winter up to 1,200 bald eagles spend the season in the area around Pueblo. Colorado Parks and Wildlife holds an annual “Eagle Days” festival there in February.

Like all raptors, the bald eagle is a powerful, graceful flier. Soaring on thermal convection currents, it can reach speeds of up to 35-43 mph when gliding and flapping.

When an eagle flaps its wings, most of the power for flight comes from the downward stroke of the wings. The muscles that pull the wings down are much larger than the muscles that pull the wings up. The flight muscles account for half of the bird's total weight...."  (Read more?  Click title)

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