Bald Eagles Nesting

The shape of a bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) nest depends on the size and branch arrangement of the tree in which the nest is built. If a suitable tree is not available, bald eagles will build their nest on a cliff side or even on the ground. Their favorite nest site though is in a sturdy tree (often a conifer) that sticks above the forest canopy providing visibility and easy flight access.

Nests are reused and added to year after year with old nests reaching a diameter of 5 to 6 feet and a height of 2 to 4 feet. Both sexes bring material to the nest. The female weaves sticks together and fills in the cracks with soft material such as mosses and grass. The nest is lined with lichen or other fine woody material and downy feathers.

One to three white eggs are brooded for about 35 days before helpless chicks with pink skin covered with grey down hatch. After 2 or 3 months the nestlings are ready to fledge.

These nests are located at Baum Lake (Shasta County CA) and at the Klamath Basin Wildlife Refuge (Siskiyou County CA). It will be fun to watch the nests throughout the breeding season.

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