Eagles are some of the most impressive and recognizable birds in the world. They are also incredibly diverse, with more than 60 different species found all over the globe.
While most people associate eagles with warm climates, there are several types of eagles in Indiana.
Keep reading our blog post as you learn about the different types of eagles in Indiana!
1. The Bald Eagle
The bald eagle is first on our list of types of eagles in Indiana. It is one of the most iconic birds of North America, and it can be found in Indiana.
They are impressive hunting birds and can often be seen soaring over bodies of water, looking for fish or other prey.
They nest in large trees or cliffs near rivers or other bodies of water and feed mainly on fish. And is easily recognized by its large, white head and bright yellow beak.
It is the largest bird of prey in North America, with an average wingspan of 6 to 8 feet and a weight of 8 to 14 pounds.
Though its original distribution range was from Alaska to Mexico, the Bald Eagle was nearly wiped out due to direct hunting, habitat loss, and deliberate poisoning.
Thanks to conservation efforts, it has been slowly reintroduced to most of its former range and has been removed from the Endangered Species List.
The Bald Eagle is a powerful bird of prey, able to take large prey like ducks and fish home to feed its young.
It prefers large, open bodies of water like lakes and rivers, where it can easily spot prey and watch for potential predators.
Bald types of eagles in Indiana also have some presence off the coasts, as it has been known to scavenge on whale carcasses.
Its diet consists of live prey, fish, and carrion, but it will also steal food from other predators.
2. The Golden Eagle
The second type of eagle in Indiana is the golden eagle. The golden eagle is a large bird of prey native to the Northern Hemisphere.
It is one of the largest and most powerful types of eagles in Indiana, with a wingspan of over 7 feet.
The adult golden eagle has a brown body and characteristic golden-brown plumage on its head, neck, and underside.
The golden eagle can be found in various habitats, including grasslands, mountains, boreal forests, and tundra.
They are carnivorous and primarily feed on small mammals and birds, though they can also scavenge on carrion.
They are monogamous and form strong pair bonds that can last for years. However, the species is classified as endangered in some countries due to hunting and habitat destruction.
Several conservation actions are being taken to help protect the species, such as implementing protected areas.
These raptors have powerful wings and strong talons, making them formidable predators.
They have a chocolate-brown color with a lighter underside and distinctive yellow eyes. They usually hunt over vast open spaces and can spot prey from a great distance.
Golden Eagles typically prefer to make their nests in the high cliffs of canyons or mountainous areas.
3. The White-Tailed Eagle
The white-tailed eagle is a large bird of prey found in Indiana. They have white heads and tails, with dark brown wings and legs.
They can reach a wingspan of over 8 feet and weigh up to 15 pounds. They prefer to hunt near water sources, mainly feeding on fish and carrion.
During the breeding season, they typically make their nests in tall trees or on cliffs near large bodies of water.
It is a large bird of prey native to Eurasia and North America. They typically measure 75–90 cm (30–35 in) in length and weigh 4–7 kg (9–15 lbs), making them one of the largest types of eagles in Indiana in their range.
The White-tailed Eagle is mainly grayish-brown in coloration, with a white tail and a broad black terminal band on the tail feathers.
It has a short, powerful beak and long, strong yellow legs and feet.
Its traditional habitat includes coastal areas and large open-water bodies, lakes, marshes, and rivers.
These types of eagles in Indiana feed mainly on fish but also prey upon other birds, reptiles, and small mammals when the opportunity arises.
They are highly opportunistic and will take advantage of carrion and scavenge for food.
White-tailed types of eagles in Indiana are social birds, often roosting and nesting in groups.
They lay eggs in a large circular nest built from sticks, twigs, and grass, which may measure as much as 200 cm (80 inches)
4. The Sandwich Tern Eagle
The Sandwich Tern (Thalasseus sandvicensis) is a seabird in the family of Laridae.
It derives its common name from the Sandwich Islands, now called the Hawaiian Islands, which were the first place it was recorded.
It is a medium-sized tern with a wide range, breeding on coasts and islands throughout the temperate and subtropical areas of the world, including Europe, North Africa, and almost all of the major coasts and islands in the Pacific Ocean.
It is cylindrical and tapered at both ends, with a median-length bill and a long, deeply forked tail. The plumage is gray-white with a black crown, nape, face, and bill.
The Sandwich Tern Eagle is a species of tern found in Indiana. These birds have a distinct black-and-white pattern on their wings and geese-like bills.
They are larger than their seabird cousins and have a wingspan of up to 4 feet.
Sandwich tern types of eagles in Indiana feed mainly on fish and tend to hunt in groups rather than individually. They usually nest on the ground or in bushes near bodies of water.
The Sandwich tern eagle, a subspecies of the common tern, is a large bird found in coastal regions of North America, Europe, and North Africa.
It is a migratory species that spends its summers in cooler climates and winters in warmer climates.
It nests in colonies on coastal shores, preferring flat, sandy beaches or open marshes.
The Sandwich tern eagle has a long wingspan, allowing it to soar and maneuver quickly, enabling it to hunt for various food, mostly fish.
In addition to fish, this bird also feeds on small amphibians and crustaceans.
The Sandwich tern eagle is known for its distinctive voice—a loud, piercing, and shrill cry—that echoes throughout its range.
5. The Pallas’s Fish Eagle
Pallas Fish Eagle (Haliaeetus leucoryphus) is next on our list of types of eagles in Indiana.
It is a large species of eagle native to parts of Asia and Africa. It is a member of the sea eagle group and is found mainly near large rivers and lakes.
The eagle is usually seen soaring or perched on large trees, hunting for fish in the water below.
The display of the male during the breeding season is particularly impressive, as he soars and glides through the air with a loud call.
The Pallas’s Fish Eagle is one of the largest of the sea types of eagles in Indiana. It has a white chest and head and a black back and tail.
The wings are a distinctive pale gray-brown, and the legs are bright yellow.
The beak is yellow and black with a hooked tip. The Pallas’s Fish Eagle is an opportunistic hunter, preying mainly on fish but also taking waterbirds, snakes, and small mammals.
The Pallas’s Fish Eagle breeds primarily along the shores of large rivers and lakes in Asia and Africa. It is a solitary nester and builds a very large nest of tw
The Pallas’s fish eagle is a large raptor that can be found in Indiana. They have brownish-black plumage and yellow eyes and beaks.
These types of eagles in Indiana primarily feed on fish but can also occasionally feed on other animals.
They are powerful hunters and can spot prey from great distances.
Pallas’s fish eagles typically nest in tall trees or on cliffs near bodies of water and prefer to hunt over open water.
Indiana is home to several species of eagles, from the majestic bald eagles to the powerful Pallas’s fish eagles.
All of these types of eagles in Indiana have unique characteristics and behaviors that make them all quite fascinating to observe.
While some are rare and difficult to find, others can often be spotted soaring through the skies of Indiana.
Whether you’re an avid birdwatcher or just interested in learning more about the different types of eagles in Indiana, there is something for everyone to appreciate!