What Is the Scientific Name of the Bald Eagle?


Quick Answer

The scientific name for the bald eagle is Haliaeetus leucocephalus. The first part of the name, Haliaeetus, is Latin for sea eagle, and the second part, leucocephalus, means white-headed.

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Full Answer

Although it belongs to a genus labeled with the Latin words for sea eagle, the bald eagle is not strictly found along sea coasts. Bald eagles do stay near water, but they inhabit areas near rivers or lakes just as often as a sea coast. The "bald" part of their common name comes from the term piebald, meaning patched with two colors, usually black and white. While they are called bald eagles because of their white heads, it is because the white head gives them a piebald appearance, and not because they appear to be bald.

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