There are approximately 70,000 bald eagles alive in the world today. The eagles range throughout most of North America, with around half of the eagle population residing just in Alaska, and around 20,000 birds living in British Columbia where they flourish due largely to the population of salmon found there.
The bald eagle is the United States' national bird, but it really isn't bald. At one time, the word "bald" simply meant white; it did not mean "bald" in the same way the word is used today. The eagle is a member of the Accipitridae family, which also includes old-world ventures, kits and hawks.
Eagles are characterized loosely into four groups, based on their behaviors and characteristics. The bald eagle is a fish or sea eagle that is separated into two subspecies, including southern and northern varieties. The southern variety is found in the Gulf states, from Baja California to Florida and South Carolina. The northern species is found in Alaska and the northwest.
Although it was removed from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Species in June of 2007, the bald eagle is still protected under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. The number of nesting pairs in the United States increased tenfold from the early 1960s, helping to bring the bald eagle off the list of threatened species.