Home Improvement: Bald Eagle Edition

Nest Builder by Kevin Povenz

Nest Building, photo by Kevin Povenz

Kevin took this shot of a bald eagle building a nest in late December near the Grand River in Ottawa County. The State of Michigan’s page on bald eagles says (in part):

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.

When bald eagles reach maturity (at four to five years of age), they select a mate, with whom they probably mate for life. In captivity, they have been known to live to 50 years, but in the wild, they probably don’t reach much more than 20 years of age.

The beginning of the breeding season, from mid-February to mid-March, consists of the establishment of a territory, nest building and mating displays. The mating “cartwheel” display begins high in the air with the two birds darting and diving at each other, until they lock talons and drop in a spinning free fall, until the last possible moment when they separate. The nest is usually located in the tallest tree in the area, often a white pine or dead snag. They are usually made of sticks with a lining of grass and moss. Nests may be added to each year until they reach enormous sizes, up to ten feet in depth and 20 feet across.

Read on for more and have a look at this encouraging chart of the steadily rising number of eagle nests in Michigan. Also check out this page of bald eagle sightings in Michigan for ideas of where to look near you!

View it bigger on Flickr, get more pics of these eagles at his Grand River North Ravines tag and see more in his Birds of Prey slideshow.

More eagles on Michigan in Pictures!

5 thoughts on “Home Improvement: Bald Eagle Edition

  1. Reblogged this on The Three R's Blog and commented:
    We will stay with our animal theme on this Friday, this time focusing on a special creature that enjoys staying in West Michigan in the winter – the bald eagle! This post on “Michigan in Pictures” was actually from last week, but it fits well with today’s other animal pattern post. So, read all about Michigan’s eagles, and about the ones that nest in Ottawa County this time of year.


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