In this blog article, we’re going to take a bird’s eye view of the subject of bald eagle nests. Bald eagle couples are monogamous and stay together for life. When they begin their life together, a mating pair of eagles will look for good nesting sites, usually high up in a tree that’s close to water, as fish is a preferred food source. They typically prefer trees that are 50-125 feet high which offer a good view of the surrounding area, and they’ll start building their nest in the spring. In Alaska, this most commonly takes place in the month of April.
It takes a pair of eagles a minimum of around two weeks to build their bowl-shaped nest, but it may take as long as several months. Eagles build their nest in the section of a tree that has little or no cover above them for easy access in and out. The nest is made out of a wide variety of materials, and they often return to and rebuild the same nest year after year. The outer shell of an eagle’s nest is made out of large sticks, plant stalks, and even bones, antlers, and other odd building materials that they may find in their area. The inner portion of the nest is lined with moss, grasses, seaweed, and similar materials. Some biologists believe that the moss that eagles use in their nests also acts as an insect repellant.
On average, an eagle nest is four to five feet in diameter and two to four feet deep, and every year that they return, they add an additional layer of one to two feet of new nest material. While a big pile of sticks up in a tree might not look like it’s all that heavy, eagles nests commonly weight up to a 2000 pounds, and one of the biggest nests on record was nine and a half feet wide, twenty feet deep, and weighed in at a whopping three tons!
In Alaska, when late April comes around, the female eagle lays two to three eggs. The incubation period lasts about thirty-five days before the chicks hatch and begin rapidly growing and developing.
So there you have it, that’s an overview of the nest characteristics of the mighty and majestic bald eagle. If you’d like to see more, check out the video below…