Zoo Animals


Bald eagle

Haliaeetus leucocephalus

At the Detroit Zoo

The Detroit Zoo is home to three rescued bald eagles. Male Flash was found on Kodiak Island, Alaska in September 2008, after suffering a wing injury that prevented him from being released back into the wild. He arrived at the Detroit Zoo in November 2009. Mr. America found sanctuary in November 2017 after he was sent to the Detroit Zoo from a rehabber in Vincennes, Indiana. He sustained a severe wing injury in Huntingburg, Indiana, that also deemed him non-releasable. Mr. America is easy to identify because he only has one wing as a result of his injury. Female Harsen suffered an injury to her right wing during a windstorm that destroyed the tree holding her nest and is now thriving at the Detroit Zoo. Detroit Zoological Society staff collect the molted bald eagle feathers and provides them to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to be distributed to Native Americans for use in religious ceremonies. The bald eagles can be found in the American Grasslands.

The adult bald eagle has a white head and tail with a dark brown body and wings. Their legs and bills are bright yellow. Young birds attain adult coloring in about five years.

Fun Facts

  • A symbol of strength and freedom, the bald eagle was chosen in 1782 as the National Emblem and is pictured on the Great Seal of the United States.

  • The bald eagle uses its feathers to balance. When it loses a feather on one wing, it will also lose a matching feather on the other side.

  • The bald eagle earned its name from the Old English word "balde," meaning white, referring to the distinctive white feathers covering its head and tail.