Bald eagles are a common sight on all of our kayak tours. We have five active bald eagles nest within a short distance of our Orca Waters Base Camp demonstrating just how rich the waters are. Further north, where we kayak in Gwaii Haanas National Park is considered to have the highest density of nesting eagles anywhere in the world.
Bald eagles mate for life and can live to be over 30 years old. The same pair usually return to the same nest every year and will continue to dd to it. On average bald eagle nests are 1.5 to 2 metres across and up to a metre deep. Some nests may be much large than this. Early in the season we often see two young chicks in our local nests but by the time they are ready to fledge there is often just one left; survival of the fittest is common among raptor chicks.
Adult bald eagles are easy to identity with their white heads and tails. The "bald" in their name is derived for a similar old English word meaning white-headed. Juvenile eagles are a mottled brown and do not attain their adult plumage until about 5 years old.
Bald eagles along the BC coast feed primarily on fish like herring and salmon but are just as happy to steal another birds catch than to catch their own. Bald eagles have a varied diet and on our kayak tours we have watched them hunt merganser chicks and the goslings of Canada geese and even try their best to catch a mink (unsuccessfully). Bald eagle also scavenge for much of their food, feeding on whatever they find including carrion.
For more information visit http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Bald_Eagle/id/ac