Our neighborhood in Shasta-Trinity National Forest is home to at least 38 pairs of resident eagles; 25 pairs at Shasta Lake, 10 pairs at Trinity Lake, and 3 pairs at Lewiston Lake. This constitutes close to 20% of all nesting bald eagles in California.
We see these magnificent birds frequently on our ranches, because adult eagles in this area tend to remain in their nesting territory year round, and continue to use and maintain their nesting sites year after year. Locally, fish caught live and also as carrion, make up the majority of their diet.
These eagles are huge—they stand around 3 feet tall, with a wingspan of 7 feet. Their eyesight is thought to be perfect and at least four times that of a human, capable of seeing prey from nearly a mile away. They live a long time, too—20 years in the wild, up to 50 in captivity.
- Bald eagles construct the largest nest of any bird in North America. A nest found in Florida measured 20 feet deep, 9 1/2 feet wide, and weighed almost three tons.
- Bald eagles can soar to an altitude of over 10,000 feet.
- Eagle bones are light because they are hollow.
- Bald eagles have approximately 7,000 feathers.
- Bald eagles do not sweat. Like dogs, they control their temperature by panting with their mouths open.
- Bald eagles can “swim.” After catching something too heavy to lift into the air, they will swim to shore, dragging their prey.