If you are a bird lover and would like to attract eagles to your garden, the first things you need to think about are food, water, and roosting spots. Keep open grass fields mowed so that eagles will be able to spot their prey easily. If the grass gets too overgrown, it will provide hiding spots for rats, rabbits, and other small mammals that eagles certain eagles live off.
Drinking water is essential. If there is no natural water source, such as a dam, lake, or river, near where you live, then it’s a good idea to leave containers of drinking water in quiet, undisturbed areas. This will also attract prey for the eagles to feed on. Keeping things as natural-looking as possible will help to encourage eagles to stay in the area.
Author Note: It may be obvious but I need to state this anyway. If you are looking to attract eagles to your garden, then it needs to be a fairly large and in a rural setting. I am not suggesting that you try to get eagles to visit your yard in the middle of a city!
Build a Roosting Area
Eagles like to roost in tall trees. If you don’t have any tall trees around, you can nail some planks horizontally to the top of a long pole and erect it in your yard. You can also attach a wooden box to the top of the pole for a breeding pair to make a nest in. Bald eagle nests are about 5 to 6 feet in diameter and 2 to 4 feet tall, so make sure the pole and platform are large enough and strong enough!
Nests are built by both male and female eagles using sticks, leaves, and other kinds of vegetation as well as downy feathers to make a cozy area for egg-laying. Eagles generally mate for life, and once they have made a nest and feel comfortable, they will come back to the same nest every year, with the female laying between 1 and 4 eggs.
Both the males and the females take turns incubating the eggs, and once the chicks hatch, the parents will feed them for about six weeks until they are strong enough to catch their own prey. Build a roosting area will not only help attract eagles to your yard but could also attract a hawk to your yard.
Top Tip: Eagle nest cams are extremely popular and can give you a live, intimate insight into the ways and characters of our ferocious feathered friends. They also come with infrared technology (IR) that allows you to see night time activity.
What Do Eagles Eat?
Eagles are carnivores and eat small mammals, rodents, reptiles, or fish, depending on which species they belong to. They are apex predators in the bird world, which means that they are at the top of the food chain and are excellent hunters, feeding mainly during the morning or afternoon. An easy way to attract eagles to your yard is to help their prey live naturally in your yard.
Author Note: They eat live food as well as animals that have already died. If you come across a dead animal and can stomach moving it, you can place the carcass on a rooftop or high perch to help attract eagles.
Remember, eagles are birds of prey. If you have any small furry pets make sure to keep them out of harm’s reach, eagles cannot distinguish between domestic friends and a tasty ‘fast food’ snack!
What Species of Eagles Can I Expect to Find in My Area?
There are about 60 different species of eagles, divided roughly into four main groups; Fish eagles, Booted eagles, Snake eagles, and Harpy or Giant Forest eagles. Most of these species are found in Africa, Europe, and Asia.
Only 14 different species can be found outside these areas – 3 in Australia, 9 in Central and South America, and 2 in North America.
Fish eagles or Sea eagles, as the names suggest, reside in coastal areas, estuaries, along rivers and streams, and around large lakes, marshes, and freshwater wetland areas. They can be found all over the world except in South America. Fish eagles feed primarily on fish, which they snatch out the water, steal from their competitors, or eat carrion. They also eat smaller birds and mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and insects, depending on the season and what is available.
Fish eagles can grow up to 1m (3.3 feet) long with a wingspan nearly double that! They have very large hooked beaks that vary in size and color according to the species. Their plumage is often brown or grey and white, and they do not have any feathers on their lower legs.
Top tip: Fish eagles love fish-breeding season in ponds and pools around springtime!
Smaller in size than other eagles, Booted eagles can reach 40 cm long with a wingspan of 11-132 cm. They are either pale in color, mainly light grey with darker head feather tips, or medium brown and dark grey and have feathers (boots) all the way down their legs.
Booted eagles can be spotted soaring over hilly forested countrysides with open patches for hunting and rocky terrain or cliff faces for breeding. They prey on smaller birds, rodents, and lizards and can be found in Southern Europe, North Africa, Western South Africa, Namibia, and all over Asia.
Snake eagles, armed with scaled legs and toes for protection, feed primarily on snakes and are brave enough to take on some of the deadliest snakes in the world, such as black mambas and cobras. They swoop, at a speed of up to 100 miles an hour, quickly grabbing the tasty snake with their talons, then immediately fly upwards, decapitate the snake and swallow it whole!
They also hunt for small mammals, rodents, and lizards. Snake eagles reside mainly in North Africa, the Middle East, Indi, and South East Asia and are often found in dry savannahs or cultivated plains and wide-open spaces. They build their nests in high trees and only lay one egg during the breeding season.
Snake or Serpent eagles are medium-sized birds of prey with a large head and golden-yellow eyes. Their feathers are generally light to dark brown with paler underparts.
Giant Forest Eagles
Author Note: Giant Forest Eagles or Harpies are large eagles that live predominantly in tropical rainforests areas of South America, but sadly their numbers are getting less due to deforestation – if you want to help save the eagles, plant more trees!
Harpies have light grey plumage on their heads, white stomachs, slate grey backs & wings, and white and black striped feathers on their legs. Harpy eagles have larger talons than any other bird of prey.
They move from branch to branch in search of prey, but if food is scarce, they can stay in the same spot for long periods of time, using their exquisite eyesight to search for signs of movement.
Eagles have excellent eyesight, estimated to be 4 to 8 times stronger than the eyesight of an average human being! They have nearly panoramic vision and can see five primary colors, compared to our three, and can detect UV light, spotting their prey from up to 3.2km (2 miles) away!
Imagine the color spectrum these amazing birds can see! Eagles have roughly the same size eyes as those of a human even though they weigh an average of just 5 kg – still a lot for a bird, with some species weighing up to 10kg!
If a person has sharp eyesight, they may be referred to as being ‘eagle-eyed.’ Having an eagle-eye vision allows us to see things from a different or higher perspective, encouraging us to be courageous and become or do, with beauty and grace, more than we think we are capable of.
Eagles use their excellent vision to know when to capture their prey and when to take flight; timing is essential and reminds us to always be in touch with our environment around us.
Author Note: The bald eagle has been the national bird of the USA since 1782. It is considered the most pictured bird in American. It can be found on the country’s Great Seal, the president’s flag, official documents, and billions of one-dollar bills, symbolizing America’s strength and freedom.
Native Americans consider the bald eagle to be sacred, with some cultures believing the eagles to be messengers between humans and the gods. Many different cultures use bald eagle feathers in religious ceremonies, and they are also given in honor of important events.
The United States eagle feather law stipulates that eagle feathers, used in religious or spiritual practices, can only be legally obtained by individuals of certifiable Native American ancestry enrolled in a federally recognized tribe.
If you find an eagle feather, it can be seen as a symbol of honor, strength, and wisdom, reminding you to have trust and have faith that you will always be protected.
If you don’t manage to find any Eagles at the Hotel California, then chances are you may spot one perched high up on a tree, soaring through the skies while scouting for prey or roosting on their nest. It’s helpful to distinguish which species of the eagle can be found in your area, and this will allow you to fine-tune your surroundings to best suit the eagles’ preferred habits and requirements.
In 1963 there were just 471 breeding pairs of bald eagles in the US, but thanks to conservation efforts and breeding programs, there are now over 9700 nesting pairs of bald eagles in the contiguous United States.
It is not a good idea to try to domesticate eagles or to get too close to them. They are wild birds and can be dangerous, especially during mating season when they can become quite territorial. It’s best to keep a safe distance from these majestic birds and admire them from a distance. We hope you enjoyed this article on how to attract eagles to your yard!
Top Tip: Keep a good pair of binoculars on hand so you can view the eagles in detail, from a distance, without startling them.
Fly high friends!
Like most other birds, the best time to see eagles is dawn and dusk. At other times, look for them high up in the air.
According to the NWF (National Wildlife Federation), eagles are most seen on the east and west coasts, in the Rockies and along the Mississippi River. They are present in other places during the winter and while they are migrating.
Bald Eagles nest in pine or cypress trees.
If eagles have access to appropriate nesting locations, can find food and are not harassed by humans, then they will (and are) moving into more suburban areas.