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Bald Eagles in the Apostle Islands

There are several reasons why bald eagles may be attracted to the Apostle Islands as a place to live. On our sailing tours we often see at least one if not more eagles as we sail along the shoreline of the islands. Some of the factors that make these islands an attractive habitat for eagles include:

  1. Abundant food: Bald eagles are carnivorous birds that feed on a variety of prey, including fish, small mammals, and birds. The Apostle Islands are home to a diverse array of fish and other wildlife, which provides plenty of food for eagles to hunt.

  2. Natural habitat: The Apostle Islands are home to a variety of natural habitats, including forests, wetlands, and shorelines, which provide a suitable home for eagles and other wildlife.

  3. Isolation: Many of the islands in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore are relatively isolated, which may make them an attractive place for eagles to nest. Eagles prefer to nest in areas where they can avoid disturbance from humans, and the remote location of the islands may provide a sense of safety and security for nesting eagles.

  4. Protection: The Apostle Islands are protected by the National Park Service, which helps to ensure that the islands' natural resources are preserved and that the habitat is maintained in a healthy condition. This protection is beneficial for eagles and other wildlife that live on the islands.

Overall, the Apostle Islands offer a combination of abundant food, suitable habitat, isolation, and protection, which make them an attractive place for bald eagles to live and raise their young.

Bald Eagles are social birds and often live in family groups, with a pair of adult birds raising their young together. Here's how eagles live as a family:

  1. Nesting: Eagles build large nests, called aeries, in trees, cliffs, or other high locations. The nests are made of sticks and branches and can be quite large, measuring up to nine feet in diameter and weighing several thousand pounds. The female eagle lays one to three eggs per year, and both the male and female take turns incubating the eggs and caring for the chicks.

  2. Hunting and feeding: Eagles are skilled hunters and feed on a variety of prey, including fish, small mammals, and birds. The male and female eagles typically hunt together, with one bird flying high and watching for prey while the other flies lower and waits to pounce. Once prey is spotted, the eagle will swoop down and grab it with its sharp talons. The eagles will then bring the prey back to the nest to feed their young.

  3. Parenting: Both the male and female eagle play an active role in caring for their young. They bring food to the nest and feed the chicks, and they also help to keep the nest clean and protect the chicks from predators. As the chicks grow, the parents will teach them how to hunt and fly, and the young eagles will eventually leave the nest and start families of their own.

Eagles are devoted parents and work together as a team to raise their young. They are also fiercely protective of their nests and will defend them from intruders, making them an imposing presence in the skies.

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