Bald Eagles (American)
Range: North America
Habitat: Forests, swamps, rivers, oceans
Conservation Status: Vulnerable
Scientific Name: Haliaeetus leucocephalus alascensis
Range: Coastlines and inland waterways of Canada, the U.S., and northwest Mexico
Habitat: From the Arctic tundra to the sub-tropic mangroves
Conservation Status: Threatened / proposed delisting
Scientific Name: Haliaeetus leucocephalus
Additional Facts: The bald eagle, one of the largest and most magnificent of all North American birds, is our national symbol. Once endangered, it is now becoming more common. People have helped eagle populations by reducing the use of dangerous pesticides, by preserving eagle habitat, and by protecting eagles from being shot. About 50 pairs of eagles build their nests and raise young eaglets in Illinois. Many more eagles migrate to our state each winter, arriving from the northern states and Canada. They congregate along the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers, catching fish. A few eagles even spend the winter hunting and fishing around Lake Decatur.
Red-tailed Hawks (Buteo jamaicensis) have made quite a comeback the past few decades. You can see them along highways flying, sitting in trees or on signs. For the Hawks courtship, the male will dive and shoot back up in steep angles. He will then fly over and briefly touch or grasp the female. After this the pair may grab onto each other or lock their talons and spiral towards the earth. How about that for extreme dating?
Range: United States to South America
Habitat: Woods, forests, plains, mountains, desert and urban
Conservation Status: Least Concern
Scientific Name: Cathartes aura septentrionalis
Turkey vultures have bald heads for a reason. They stick their entire head into some of the carrion (dead animals) they eat. Blood and other goo would stick to feathers, but on the bald head, it dries and falls off. Our vulture, Illie, is a female that was found along the side of the road in Illinois. She has part of her wing missing and cannot survive in the wild. Look at her curved, very sharp beak. Its shape is perfect for ripping and tearing whatever the sharp nose of the turkey vulture finds to eat