You may know that eagles have some of the largest and most impressive wingspans in the bird kingdom, but did you know they also build some of the largest nests? An eagle’s nest can be a few feet wide and several feet deep as well, built up out of sticks, primarily. The male and female eagles both gather the sticks for the nest and build it up over a series of weeks, but even when the eggs are laid and the birds hatch, the nest building isn’t done.
An eagle can continue to build its nest over the next few years, since eagles are notoriously territorial and stick with the same nest for life, so long as it serves them well. This is why an eagle’s nest can reach a weight of nearly two tons. They build their nest some place with lots of support, such as in the branches of a tall tree or on a rock. The nest is always built up some place high, because eagles with their excellent hunting vision want an overlook where they can see prey or danger from at a distance. They give themselves an elevated perch where they build their nest, which is why we have the expression “an eagle’s eye view”.
Eagles spend some serious time and thought planning where they are going to build their nest. They hate to abandon a nest, so they put a lot of work into ensuring that they have chosen a good spot. They have a knack, or instinct if you will, for choosing good places to make nests, and it is very rare for an eagle to change nesting areas.
They have a large hunting and breeding area that they consider their own. You will see eagles soaring high above the sky in their areas that they have mapped out for themselves. Unless it is looking for a mate or it runs out of food in its area, an eagle will not venture outside of its territory. These are fiercely territorial birds, and they are aggressive to anything that looks like a danger to their family that goes into their territory.
They don’t even like to migrate. Eagles tend to stay within the same area when the cold weather sets in, because they love their homes so much. The only time they move outside the area is when winter weather makes food or shelter scarce. As leaves fall from the trees and cause them to lose their shelter or as animals migrate out of their hunting area, eagles will expand their hunting searches and move outside their territory to find food. They will not abandon their nest, however, unless they absolutely have to.
If they do have to move away from their home due to winter weather, they will usually return to their original home once the warmer weather starts to come back. They will take up the same hunting patterns and territory that they had before, as they will remember all of their area and how they used to protect it against dangers.