Journey North Maps Bald Eagle Migration News Bald Eagle Home Page Report Your Sightings! Bald Eagle Resources Bald Eagle Home Page Bald Eagle Home Page Journey North Home JN Bald Eagles for Kids

Eagle Adaptations: The Tail

Click for labeled photo
photo: Ray Foster
An eagle's body is adapted for its fishing and scavenging lifestyle. Its tail helps with:

  • Balance in flight--the tail is long enough and wide enough to help balance the bird's head in flight
  • Surface area for soaring--the tail can widen to provide extra surface area, allowing thermals and updrafts to keep it aloft with little effort. See our lesson on flight.
  • Sturdy and short so when the bird hits water hard and fast while fishing, the tail won't be damaged and won't get in the way.
  • Helps other eagles see how mature this one is. The tail of a young bird is dark brown, and turns white when the bird becomes mature when at 4 - 6 years of age.

Photos: L. USFWS, M. Hugh Feiro, R. Ray Foster

 

Journey North Home Page   Pinterest Facebook   Annenberg Media Home Page
Copyright 1997-2014 Journey North. All Rights Reserved.   Contact Us    Search