25th Annual Rains County Eagle Fest
Rains County Fairgrounds
404 South Texas St.
Hwy 69 & Hwy 19
Emory, Texas 75440
Lisa Hilbers Photography
The bald Eagle is a member of the hawk family. Like most raptors, the female bald eagle is larger than the male eagle. The female weights between 10-14 pounds, the male 8-10; the wing span of female can reach 7.5 feet in length, the male 6.5 feet.
Most of the weight of the eagle is muscle, internal organs, talons, and beak; bones which are hollow account for only 4 percent of the weight of the eagle’s 7,000 feathers account for only another 9 percent of the total weight of an eagle.
The large wings of the eagle are great for gliding; indeed an eagle can stay in the air for an hour with less than two minutes of lapping its wings by riding thermals and updrafts generated by the mountains slopes and edges of valleys.
The constructions of artificial lakes, like Lake Fork and Lake Tawakoni in Rains County, Texas have created new breeding grounds for eagles.
Eagles live from 15 to 20 years in the wild and up to 40-50 in captivity.
A newly- mated pair of eagle may look over an area for several years before building a nest to make sure that it is the right location. And some Eagles build two nest, one a sort of “back-up” nest.
The building of a new nest takes anywhere from a week to 6 months and construction consists of tree branches, grass, Spanish moss, pine needles, and fresh green sprigs of pine for lining the inside.
The maintenance of the nest continues even after the eggs are hatched and the female eggs usually lay two eggs, sometimes only one, rarely three or four.
The same nest is used year after year with the pair adding each year to the nest and by generations of eagles, sometimes reaching enormous size and weight- up to 9 feet across, 20 feet in depth and weighting several tons.
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"The Eagle Capital of Texas"
Bald Eagle Facts Compiled by
Dr. Jim Conrad
of Texas A&M University - Commerce