Bald Eagle in Michigan

January 8, 2013

Eagle turning

Eagle turning, photo by Deirdre Honner

I think this is one of the best bald eagle photos I’ve ever seen. The Michigan DNR’s bald eagle page explains that before European settlement, bald eagles probably nested in all regions of Michigan.

In the early 1900s they were described as being “generally distributed,” but “nowhere abundant.” A decline through the early and mid-1900s was probably related to slow but consistent loss of suitable habitat and available food, and predator control by humans. These eagles are so disturbed by the presence of humans near their nest that they may be induced to abandon the nest, or even chicks that have already hatched. By 1959, the species was considered, “largely restricted to the northern half of the state.”

…Nests are usually constructed near seacoasts, lakes or large rivers to be near their most common food supply: fish. Although they are quite capable of catching their own, sometimes even wading in shallow water to stalk fish like herons, they have often been seen stealing fish from other birds such as osprey. When fish are not available, such as in winter, eagles will also feed on waterfowl, small mammals (up to rabbit-size) and carrion (even road-kill).

During Michigan winters, bald eagles are seen throughout the state (almost all counties), while they nest mainly in the Upper Peninsula (especially the western portion) and the northern portion of the Lower Peninsula. These eagles don’t really migrate, they just move south enough to stay ahead of the ice and congregate near open water. Immature birds may move further south.

Lots more about bald eagles at All About Birds and you can also view recent Michigan bald eagle sightings.

Check this out background big and see more including a shot of the eagle in flight  in Deirdre’s slideshow.

More Michigan birds on Michigan in Pictures.

2 Responses to “Bald Eagle in Michigan”

  1. Nina Says:

    This is such an awesome shot!

  2. Kirk Conner Says:

    There’s sevearl nest here in mid West Michigan. Here’s some photo’s,taken this last summer of the nest 5 mile’s from me.
    https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/165797_426466630709674_268949090_n.jpg


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