Developing Eagle
Symbol of America
About the Author

Bald Eagle Classification:

Image available on the Public Domain

Domain: Eukaryota

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Aves

Order: Falconiformes

Family: Accipitridae

Genus: Haliaeetus

Species: Haliaeetus leucocephalus



Created by Andy Taylor

This phylogenetic tree, created by myself, was compiled from information on Tree of Life Web Project and shows the evolutionary relationships of the bald eagle (represented in the tree as the sea eagles) and other Aves. I will offer you a brief explanation of the image above if you are unfamiliar with phylogenetic trees.

Nodes (points where lines meet with each other) represent a common ancestor. For example, sea eagles and snake eagles have a common ancestor in the family Accipitridae, who share a common ancestor with falcons, osprey, and so on. The groups proximity coincides with their evolutionary relationship. That is to say that penguins are more closely related to Flamingos, than they are to parrots.

All of the wide variety of birds you see in this world have evolved from a single common ancestor represented in this diagram by Aves.