Class: Mammalia: Mammals Diet: Plants
Order: Artiodactyla: Even-toed Ungulates
Size: body: 2.5 – 3 m (8 1/4 – 9 3/4 ft), tail: 5 – 7.5 cm (2 – 3 in)
Family: Cervidae: Deer Conservation Status: Non-threatened
Scientific Name: Alces alces Habitat: coniferous forest, often near lakes and rivers
Range: Northern Europe and Asia: Scandinavia to Siberia; Alaska, Canada, Northern U.S.A.; introduced in New Zealand
The largest of the deer, the moose is identified by its size, its broad, overhanging muzzle and the flap of skin, known as the bell, hanging from its throat. The massive antlers of the male are fllattened and palmate, with numerous small branches. The moose is less gregarious than other deer and is usually alone outside the breeding season. In winter, it feeds on woody plants, but in summer, water plants provide the bulk of its food. It wades into water to feed and swims well. Following an 8-month gestation, the female gives birth to a single calf, very rarely to twins. The calf is suckled for about 6 months but stays with its mother for a yeear.

The bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), our national bird, is the only eagle unique to North America. The bald eagle’s scientific name signifies a sea (halo) eagle (aeetos) with a white (leukos) head. At one time, the word “bald” meant &#

#8220;white,” not hairless. Bald eagles are found over most of North America, from Alaska and Canada to northern Mexico. About half of the world’s 70,000 bald eagles live in Alaska. Combined with British Columbia’s population of about 20,000, the northwest coast of North America is by far their greatest stronghold for bald eagles. They flourish here in part because of the salmon. Dead or dying fish are an important food source for all bald eagles.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was proposing the bald eagle be declared fully recovered by July 2000, but the decision was delayed until they figure out how they will manage the species once it is taken off the list. Even if the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removes thhe bald eagle from the “threatened” species list, it will still be protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. The Bald Eagle Protection Act prohibits the take, transport, sale, barter, trade, import and export, and possession of eagles, making it illegal for anyone to collect eagles and eagle parts, nests, or eggs without a permit. Possession of a feather or other body parts of a bald eagle is a felony with a fi
ine of up to $10,000 and/or imprisonment, although federally recognized Native Americans are able to possess these emblems which are traditional in their culture. The bald eagle is still listed as “threatened” in the United States.

The information and photos on this web site may be used for student projects as long as neither are placed on other web sites. The photographs are copyrighted by Hope Rutledge, the owner and author of the American Bald Eagle Information web site, and are NOT available for other web sites, photo galleries or commercial use of any kind.

Bald eagle body description

Color – Both male and female adult bald eagles have a blackish-brown back and breast; a white head, neck, and tail; and yellow feet and bill.

Juvenile bald eagles are a mixture of brown and white; with a black bill in young birds. The adult plumage develops when they’re sexually mature, at about 4 or 5 years of age.

The bald eagle is the only eagle confined to North America, and there are no other large black birds in North America with white heads and tails.

Size – The female bald eagle is 35 to 37 inches, slightly larger than the male. With a wingspan which varies from 79 to 90 inches.


The male bald eagle has a body length from 30 to 34 inches. The wingspan ranges from 72 to 85 inches.

Bald eagles weigh from ten to fourteen pounds. Northern birds are significantly larger than their southern relatives.

The golden eagle is larger than the bald eagle in average height and wingspan, but there isn’t much difference in their average weight.

Longevity – Wild bald eagles may live as long as thirty years, but the average lifespan is probably about fifteen to twenty years. A captive eagle at West Stephentown, NY lived to be at least 48 years old.

Eagles sit at the top of the food chain, making them more vulnerable to toxic chemicals in the environment, since each link in the food chain tends to concentrate chemicals from the lower link.

Body Temperature – 102 degrees Fahrenheit (38.8 degrees Celsius)

Harpy eagles are the largest and most powerful birds in the world. They inhabit the tropical forests of Central and South American, ranging from Southern Mexico to Argentina. The female harpy averages three and a half feet in length and weighs about twenty pounds. Her wingspan is about six and a half feet. Typically, the male is about one third smaller than the female.

Being a preditor, the harpy’s diet consists of mo

ostly monkeys and sloths, which live high in the canopy. Their talons can be up to five inches long. A female can kill prey weighing twenty pounds, but has to tear it apart to transport it.

Harpy eagles reproduce every three years. The four to five feet in diameter nest of a harpy is usually built in a tall tree, about 150 to 225 feet above the ground. Typically, two eggs are laid, but only one eaglet will be raised. The incubation cycle is about eight weeks. The male brings food for them and their eaglet. It will be another six months before the eaglet is able to leave the nest, but remains near the nest for about a year. Harpy eagles will not abandon their nest or young as other eagles sometimes do. Instead, they will attack intruders.

Depletion of the rain forests is a constant threat to the harpy eagle. The Harpy Eagle Conservation Program works with South American governments, logging companies, and local people to protect nesting sites

Sea Lamprey
• Sea lampreys are members of an ancient family of “jawless fishes” that were around before the time of the dinosaurs. They are 12-20 inches long and eel-like. They have dark brown to black backs and light yellow to pale brown bellies. Look for a feathery fin from their midsection down and under the tail. Their mouth is circular with circular rows of teeth. They have large reddish eyes.
• It is important to recognize the distinguishable features of Sea Lamprey because there are several native freshwater lamprey species found in the Great Lakes region. Some are parasites and some are not. These lampreys live in balance with their natural food chain and don’t deplete fish populations. The four native lamprey species include:
o Silver lamprey (parasitic); found in the Mississippi River and Chippewa, Embarrass Rivers. It feeds on carp, catfish, walleyes, northern pike, suckers, sturgeons, and paddlefish.
o Chestnut lamprey (parasitic); found in the Upper Mississippi River, Wisconsin River, Chippewa River, St. Croix River, Namekagon River (‘74-’86 records).
o Northern brook lamprey (not parasitic); found in the Brule River, Red Cedar River & tributaries, Peshtigo River tributaries.
o American brook lamprey (not parasitic); found in the Red Cedar River & tributaries, Buffalo River, Trempealeau River, La Crosse River, Kickapoo River, Wisconsin River, Menominee River.

American Marten
(Martes Americana)

American martens are small, rare members of the weasel family. The American marten is sometimes referred to as a pine marten due to the similarities shared with their European pine marten relatives. Their fur is soft and thick, varying in color from pale buff or yellow to reddish or dark brown. The animals’ throats are pale buff; their tails and legs are dark brown. Two vertical black lines run above the inner corners of their eyes. In winter, long hairs grow between the toe pads on the American martens’ feet. These keep the feet warm and enable the animals to travel on snow.

American martens have long, bushy tails that are one-third of their total length. Like other species in the weasel family, they differ in size according to sex. The female is about three-fourths the size of the male.

Sometimes people confuse American martens with two other members of the weasel family that live in Wisconsin, fishers (Martens pennanti) and stone martens (Martens foina). Fishers live in similar habitat and have similar tracks. However, they’re larger (females 20-27 inches, 4-8 pounds; males 30- 40 inches, 7-15 pounds) and darker than American martens. Stone martens are a species native to Europe and Asia. They escaped into southern Wisconsin in the early 1960s or 1970s, where they’ve established a breeding population. Stone martens are 23-31 inches long (including the tail), weigh 1-4.5 pounds and are pale gray to brown with a white throat patch.


The white-tailed deer is a large animal which varies quite a bit in size, depending on the particular subspecies (there are 30 recognized) and the region where it is found. In our area, adult weight averages from about 100 to 150 pounds. Some whitetail deer from the northern United States and Canada may weigh as much as 350 pounds. Mature males are generally larger than the females. The whitetail is an ungulate, or hoofed animal, with each foot ending in a cloven or two piece hoof. The underparts of the deer’s body are white with a white patch on the throat and another smaller band of white around the nose. The underside of the tall is also white. The upper body parts are colored reddish brown during the warmer months but in the fall, white-tailed deer molt into their winter coats of dark, grayish brown. For several months of the year, male white-tailed deer, known as bucks, are easily recognized by the presence of antlers on the head, which the females, known as does, lack.

The white-tailed deer is one of our best known and easily recognized large mammals. They are abundant in most areas of our state, especially in the eastern Coastal Plain. Other members of the deer family found in North America include the elk, moose, caribou, and mule deer.

Wild boar

Description [from Conley 1971]
The wild boar is bigger and heavier in the shoulders than in the hips. Longer hairs forming a partial mane grow along the spine of the neck. The mane is formed by split guard hairs called bristles, which may reach 5 inches in length. The ears are pointed and heavily haired. The tail is tipped with long hair. Well developed canine teeth that grow continually are found on both sexes. These canines or “tusks” can become very sharp and grow to a length as long as 4-3/4 inches. The color of adults varies from black to light gray to reddish brown. There is sometimes a white blaze on the head and/or the snout. At birth, the piglets are light brown with six brown and five black stripes on each side. These stripes are usually gone by the end of four months.

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