Bald eagles have a wide range throughout North America.

Although the bald eagle in Canada prefers the Pacific coast of British Columbia, it is also found in the Prairie provinces and northwestern Ontario, and there have been sightings of small groups in Cape Breton and on the coast of Newfoundland. The bald eagle ranges as far north as Alaska and populates more than half of the United States and portions of Mexico. It is especially abundant from Florida to California.

Canadian Geographic


© Royal Canadian Geographical Society. All Rights Reserved.


Biology - Bald eagle. A bald eagle in flight with a fish in its grip.

Scientific name: Haliaeetus leucocephalus Average weight: 2.7 kg–4 kg (male) 4.5 kg–6.8 kg (female) Average height: 76 cm–86 cm (male) 89 cm–94 cm (female) Average wingspan: 200-225 cm Average lifespan: 25–40 years As Canada’s largest bird of prey, the bald eagle is built to hunt and scavenge. It has a giant yellow beak and oversized talons, and its feet are equipped with small spikes called spicules, which are ideal for attacking and grasping its prey, especially slippery fish.

iStockphoto/FrankLeung


© 2010, Royal Canadian Geographical Society. All Rights Reserved.


Low rolling hills and wide open skies make up Saskatchewan's Prairie.

Mention of the Great Plains conjures up romantic notions of brave men and women travelling west in search of new livelihoods with bison grazing in the background. This area in Canada, more commonly called the prairies, has broken many a dream, but also financed many a fortune. The prairies have also seen the rise and fall of many species —and will likely continue to do so in the future.

iStockphoto/TrevorBauer


© 2010, Royal Canadian Geographical Society. All Rights Reserved.


The Bald Eagle Needs a Place to Live Too!

Lesson Overview

The examination of the distribution and habitat of the bald eagle and why it is on the threatened species list for North America.

Grade Level
Grade 9 (secondary school)

Time Required
Teachers can conduct the lesson in one or two classes.

Curriculum Connection (Province/Territory and course)
Ontario Curriculum. Canadian and World Studies, Grade Nine - Applied level

Link to the Return of the Wild Virtual Exhibition
www.canadiangeographic.ca/vmc

Additional Resources, Materials and Equipment Required
Canadian Atlas Online www.canadiangeographic.ca/atlas
Hinterland Who’s Who www.hww.ca Read More
The Bald Eagle Needs a Place to Live Too!

Lesson Overview

The examination of the distribution and habitat of the bald eagle and why it is on the threatened species list for North America.

Grade Level
Grade 9 (secondary school)

Time Required
Teachers can conduct the lesson in one or two classes.

Curriculum Connection (Province/Territory and course)
Ontario Curriculum. Canadian and World Studies, Grade Nine - Applied level

Link to the Return of the Wild Virtual Exhibition
www.canadiangeographic.ca/vmc

Additional Resources, Materials and Equipment Required
Canadian Atlas Online www.canadiangeographic.ca/atlas
Hinterland Who’s Who www.hww.ca
Atlas of Canada http://atlas.nrcan.gc.ca/site/english/index.html
Student Activity Worksheet - attached
Outline maps of North America and Canada - attached

Main Objective
Through the views of key stakeholders, students come to understand the ecosystem and habitat requirements of the bald eagle and to explain why some populations remain stable while others are threatened by declining numbers.

Learning Outcomes
By the end of the lesson, students will be able to:
• Define the terms: ecozone, habitat, range, flyways, migrations and ecosystem and apply them to bald eagles.
• Map the location of bald eagles in Canada and North America.
• Explain why numbers are declining in some parts of the continent.

The Lesson
Teacher Activity/Student Activity

Introduction
Discuss local bird populations and habitats with class. Review the terms ecozones and ecosystems Have students describe the ecosystems of the west coast of Canada and of central Canada (boreal forest zone).

Review terms for this lesson: flyways, migrations, habitats, food chains, loss of habitat, endangered species. Suggest examples of local bird populations, habitats and migrations.

Students contribute answers from text sources, atlas sources or Return to the Wild website.

Lesson Development
Assign the student activity worksheet with the two blank outline maps (Canada and North America) Complete the student activity worksheet and maps.

Conclusion
Take up the answers to the student activity worksheet so that each student has a complete set of answers and maps. Make sure students know how to access the web sites in the lesson. Complete all answers on the student activity worksheets and complete the maps in the best map format.

Submit for evaluation.

Ensure you have visited all web sites in the lesson.

Lesson Extension

Have interested students create a Hinterland Who’s Who movie of the bald eagle using the format for a one-minute video found on the HWW web site. www.hww.ca/hww.asp?id=53&pid=3

Have students investigate why the bald eagle is the national emblem of the United States of America.

Assessment of Student Learning
1. Collect and grade the maps and/ or student activity worksheet.
2. Add a question on the next test with a blank map and have students plot their information on bald eagle habitats and ecosystems.

Further Reading
Hinterland Who’s Who pamphlets

Link to Canadian National Standards for Geography
Essential Element #5 Environment and Society
• world issues - environmental issues –loss of habitat and human modification of environment
Geographic skill#3 Organizing geographic information
• select and design appropriate forms of maps to organize geographic information.

Student Activity Worksheet
The Bald Eagle Needs a Place to Live Too!
Bald Eagles in Canada and North America
1.Using the map of North America, draw on the range of the bald eagle in North America. Use the map found on the Return to the Wild web site (www.canadiangeographic.ca/vmc). Add a title and legend to your map.

2.Using your text book or another source such as the Atlas of Canada (on-line version listed below), create a map of Canada showing the ecozones on the west coast and in Northern Ontario. These are places where bald eagle populations are found Canada. Give your map a proper title and legend.
www.atlas.nrcan.gc.ca/site/english/maps/environment/ecology/framework/terrestrialecozones

3. Write definitions for these terms. Add two sentences to show how they apply to the bald eagles found in Canada. (Refer to your text book or the Hinterland Who’s Who web site.)
a. habitat

b. loss of Habitat

c. migration

d. flyways

e. range

f. ecozone

g. ecosystems

4. Write five sentences to explain why bald eagles adapt so well to the land and sea conditions found along the west coast of Canada and why they are a threatened species in other locations of North America.

© 2010, Royal Canadian Geographical Society. All Rights Reserved.

Learning Objectives

Through the views of key stakeholders, students come to understand the ecosystem and habitat requirements of the bald eagle and to explain why some populations remain stable while others are threatened by declining numbers.

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