Bald Eagle – Patriot

In March 1995, Patriot’s parents used the same nest tree they had used for the past four years at Clarence Cannon Wildlife Refuge. A violent storm in mid-April brought the tree down. Refuge staff responded quickly; two of the chicks were already dead. The one surviving chick was in poor condition due to being in the water for at least an hour. She was treated for pneumonia, gained seven pounds in two weeks and regained her strength. Unfortunately because of the lung damage she sustained, Patriot would not have survived in the wild if returned there. Since she was deemed un-releasable, Patriot has a permanent home here at World Bird Sanctuary as an educational ambassador for her species.





  • Patriot is known for her spunky attitude among her caregivers. She definitely has her favorite handlers, and will cackle at people she does not particularly like. Patriot will pretty much work with any handler though, being the professional eagle that she is.
  • She has traveled to multiple states like Ohio and Tennessee, and all over the Midwest doing programs.
  • Patriot was also one of the eagles at Busch Stadium supporting the Cardinals during their 2004 run for the Division title!


Scientific Name:

  • Haliaeetus leucocephalus. Latin and Greek origin meaning “white-headed sea eagle.”


  • Canada and United States.


  • Typically nest in forested areas adjacent to large bodies of water, staying away from heavily developed areas when possible.
  • During winter migration, they congregate near open water in tall trees for spotting prey and night roosts for sheltering.


  • Fish (common examples include salmon, herring, shad, and catfish), but these birds eat a wide variety of foods depending on what’s available like carrion, waterfowl and mammals.
  • Bald Eagles frequently harass birds including Ospreys and other eagles to steal their food. Have also been known to pirate fish from fishing vessels.


  • Sometimes found in large numbers during winter feeding.
  • Nesting time is during February. One to three eggs will be laid per year.
  • Bald Eagles are powerful fliers—soaring, gliding, and flapping over long distances. They have been recorded flying at 35-43 mph.
  • Build some of the largest bird nests — typically 5 to 6 feet in diameter and 2 to 4 feet tall and can take up to 3 months to build. They typically use the same nest year after year, building onto and repairing it as needed. The largest nest ever recorded was in Florida and was 20 feet deep and 9.5 feet across. It weighed 2.7 metric tons!


  • The term “bald” originated from the old English word “balde” meaning white. However, Bald Eagles do not have a fully white head and tail until 4 to 5 years old.
  • Their body feathers are brown and feet and bill are bright yellow.

Additional information

Adoption Level

Fan, Friend, Sponsor