About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Monday, February 7, 2011

When do Eagles Lay Eggs?

Haliaeetus leucocephalus (bald eagle) landing ...Image via Wikipedia

Depending on where they live, eagles nest from January - March. Bald Eagles are monogamous and mate for life. Together they build their large nest, called an eyry, at the top of a tall, sturdy tree or they may also nest in a cliff or on the ground in treeless regions.

A new nest averages 2 feet deep and 5 feet across. They are lined with twigs, moss, grass, and feathers. The nest becomes larger each year as the eagles return to breed and add new nesting materials to shore up the old nest. Eventually, some nests reach sizes of more than 10 feet wide and can weigh several tons.

Breeding bald eagles typically lay one to three eggs once a year and they hatch after about 35 days of incubation. Hunting, egg sitting, eaglet feeding and brooding duties are shared by both parents. The young eagles begin flying three months after hatching and are on their own about one month later.

Bald eagle chicks (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) i...Image via Wikipedia
And right now you can watch a pair of American Bald Eagles that have built a nest in Virginia. The Eagle Cam at the Norfolk Botanical Garden is live for 2011. It’s the fifth year that this exciting project has provided viewers with an unparalleled glimpse into the lives of a pair of bald eagles as they work to raise another brood. Learn more on their website: http://www.norfolkbotanicalgarden.org/e-community/eagle-cam

If you missed it, the first egg of the 2011 season was laid at 2:49 pm on February 3rd, 2011. The video below is a recap. The female can be seen drawing pine straw up around herself in preparation, and then settle down covering the egg.  Bald eagles most commonly have clutches of two eggs although this pair has frequently had three egg clutches, only time will tell how many eggs we'll see this year.  

To see the answers to other frequently asked questions on eagles go to: FAQ
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