two successful nesting cycles it looks
like our bald eagles are here to
Here are some facts about bald eagles.
- Bald eagles live to 30 years in the wild.
- The male builds the nest and may add to their a nest every year, it can weigh up to two tons.
- it is illegal to disturb nests, eags or young of the bald eagle,
Please stay at least 100 ft. off the shore of their island.
- Eagles may have more than one nest in a territory but only use one a year.
- The adult female weighs between 10 and 14 lbs. The male 8 to 9 lbs.
- The female may not breed every year depending on the food supply.
- The eagles defend a territory with a radious of 1 mile around the next; th lodge at Blue heron is within their territory.
are laid 5 to 10 days after successful copulation; which-by the way
does not happen in the air. The ariel display is just the
- The 2nd egg is layed a few days later.
- They generally lay two eggs which incubate for 33 to 36 days. Eggs are turned every hour.
- During incubation the male brings the femal green sprigs of conifer branches. The function of this gift is not known.
parents generally share both hatching and brooding the young but the
female spends most of her time on the nest. The use a soft
'chitter' when asking their mate for relief. It is a lovely affectionate sound.
- If both eggs hatch both chicks generally survive to fledging, there is not the deadly rivalry found with Golden Eagle chicks.
chicks in the nest are generally fed every 3 to 4 hrs.. At first the
male brings the female the food offereings and she tears them into
small pieces for the hungry chicks. The young birds gain 1 lb. of
body weight every 4 or 5 days! Tha's a lot of food!
- At two weeks they are stong enough to hold their heads up.
three weeks they are a foot long and their beaks are adult sized!
They also begin to get juvenile brown feathers.
begin to stand alone at 4 & 5 weeks and begin tearing up their own
food. At this time they have begun to explore their nest, playing within its
confines. They even use sticks and leftover food as toys.
- At 6
weeks they are nearly as large as parents, the parents begin to roost
in nearby trees - no room left in the nest - and are hunting
continuously. We've observed the adult food delivery schedule and it is impressive!
- At 8 weeks they begin balancing on the edge of the nest and stretching their wings. They even lift off the nest. It looks like they are bouncing on a trampoline.
10 to 13 weeks they attempt their first flight. Because their
flight feathers are longer they often look larger than the parents.
Parents may cox them off the nest by placing food on a
- For their first month of flight they continue to be fed. After that the parents teach them to find food.
first winter is the most dangerous time for the eagle chicks. If
they migrate, an ours do, they fly during the day following open water. Many
fledgings wander widely during their first year. Up to 50%
do not survive the first year.
- At four years they complete
their distinctive adult plumage with a bright white head and tail.
They mate for the first time at 4 years and may select nesting
sites widely dispersed from their natal nesting area.
Eagles David Jones. White Cap Books Vancourver, 1966
Secrets of the Nest: The family life of North American Birds Joan Dunning Houghton Mifflin New York, 1994