The Chesapeake Bay Program recently announced that the number of occupied bald eagle nests in the Chesapeake Watershed increased to 760 nests in 2003, up 10 percent from 2002. This quiz will help to increase your knowledge of this national symbol.

1. According to scientific estimates, how many pairs of bald eagles were thought to have made the Chesapeake Bay their home before European settlement?

A. 9,000 pairs
B. 6,000 pairs
C. 3,000 pairs
D. 1,500 pairs

2. Between diminishing habitat and DDT, in 1970, the estimated number of nesting bald eagle pairs in the Chesapeake watershed had dwindled to:

A. 20–30 pairs.
B. 50–60 pairs
C. 80–90 pairs
D. 110–120 pairs.

3. What Bay fish species is particularly important for bald the eagle’s survival because it is here in winter, when many other species are not?

A. American Shad
B. Blueback Herring
C. Gizzard Shad
D. Hickory Shad

4. Bald eagle nests have been found in each of these trees in the Bay watershed. One species, though, is far more common than the others. It is the:

A. American Tuliptree
B. Bitternut Hickory
C. Loblolly Pine
D. White Oak

5. The bald eagle’s scientific name, Haliaeetus leucocephalus, means what?

A. Fish-eating eagle
B. Large-winged fish eater
C. Magnificent predator
D. White-headed sea eagle

6. What continents are home to the bald eagle?

A. Every continent except Antarctica
B. North America & South America
C. North America & Africa
D. Only North America

7. Generally, which is larger?

A. Female eagle
B. Male eagle
C. They are usually equal in size

8. Juvenile bald eagles are a mixture of brown and white; with a black bill. About what age do they develop their white head and tail and yellow beak?

A. 2 years
B. 3 years
C. 4 years
D. 5 years

9. A bald eagle weighs 10–15 pounds. When snatching prey, its lifting power is:

A. 2 pounds.
B. 4 pounds
C. 6 pounds
D. 8 pounds

10. The bald eagle’s skin is protected by almost 7,000 feathers lined with down. How are their unfeathered feet able resist the cold?

A. They are mostly tendon.
B. The bald eagle produces an antifreeze type substance in its feet.
C. They have extra blood vessels.
D. They are covered with fine, barely visible hairs.

11. What percentage of bald eagles starve to death their first winter, because of their lack of hunting skills?

A. 10 percent
B. 25 percent
C. 35 percent
D. 50 percent

12. Bald eagles have two “foveae.” How do these contribute to the bird’s renowned eyesight?

A. They allow the eagle to see both forward and to the side at the same time.
B. They allow the eagle to see distant and closeup objects simultaneously.
C. They allow the eagle to “see” infrared heat.
D. They allow the eagle to see underwater.

13. The bald eagles is at the top of its food chain. Why is this sometimes to its detriment?

A. Competition among other top predators is tough.
B. They are more vulnerable to toxic chemicals.
C. An all-meat diet is unhealthy.
D. The higher the bird, the harder the fall.


1. C One estimate suggests that their was one bald eagle nest for every mile of shoreline. 2.C 3. C 4. C 5. A sea “halo,” eagle “aeetos,” white head “leukos” 6. D 7. A The female bald eagle is 35 to 37 inches long, with a wingspan of 79–90 inches. The male is 30–34 inches long, with a wingspan of 72–85 inches. 8. C 9. B 10. A 11. D 12. A 13. B Each link in the food chain tends to absorb the toxic chemicals stored in the bodies of each species below them on the chain. Eagles also die from lead poisoning when they eat prey than has been wounded by, yet eluded, the hunter that shot them. Three lead pellets is enough to kill an eagle.