How to Bald Eagles Mate

February 14, 2024

You might have heard that bald eagles mate for life, but what does this really mean? Like most birds bald eagles form long lasting pair bonds and once established they spend much of their time working together to build and maintain a nest and raise young. But it’s during the mating season that a pair of bald eagles will display a variety of courtship activities. These include perching, displaying, calling, nest-building, and of course the famous whirling nuptial flight where a pair of eagles fly up high locking their talons and then spinning in a cartwheel before crashing to the ground.

You may have also seen or read about a more intimate occurrence – what some call “eagle love” – where a male and female bald eagle will lock talons and then slowly fall toward the earth, stopping just before they reach the ground. This particular ritual may prove flight skill, test pair commitment, or arouse the eagles to initiate copulation.

But even though bald eagles are known to mate for life, breeding doesn’t always happen each year. It can be affected by a number of factors, including weather, food availability, or the presence of an existing mate. And even when breeding does occur a pair will only lay one to three eggs per year.


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