Bald eagles are an icon of American wildlife, and we are thrilled to reveal that several reside right here on our historic Santa Margarita Ranch.
Indeed, bald eagles are quite frequently seen by guests on our nature and wildlife tours, which include a stop near a bald eagle nesting area (pictured here). Additionally, bald eagles are sometimes seen in the skies above our zipline tours.
Bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) are one of North America’s largest birds. They can weigh up to 14 pounds, with a wingspan of up to eight feet, and the females are larger than males. Adult bald eagles are dark brown with a pure white head and tail. Younger bald eagles are mostly brown, mottled with varying amounts of white. They acquire their adult plumage at around four to five years of age.
In most of California, the breeding season lasts from about January through July or August. One or two eggs (occasionally three) are laid in late winter or early spring, and incubation lasts about 35 days.
According to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, “Normally, the eagles build their large stick nests in the upper canopy of the tallest trees in the area. The adults may repair the same nest annually, increasing its size over time, or they may build a new nest in their territory or repair one they had used formerly. In many cases, the territory of a pair of eagles may include several nests in addition to the one they most recently used.”
We invite you to join one of our nature and wildlife tours to see these majestic birds in their native habitat. They are a beautiful sight to behold!