While bald eagles choose habitats with plenty of prey and tall trees, they will inhabit areas further from foraging grounds in order to avoid human interaction as human activity decreases their feeding by 35%.
Although the specific habitats of bald eagles may vary depending on their range, habitat selection depends largely on prey availability, the availability of tall trees, and the degree of human disturbance.
Bald eagles tend to forage much less when disturbed by humans. At times when humans are active in foraging areas, their feeding may be reduced by as much as 35%. As such, these birds avoid human recreation areas and will even forgo feeding if their foraging area is being disturbed by humans. Although food availability is important to habitat selection, bald eagles will inhabit areas further from foraging grounds to avoid human interaction.
Due to food availability, these birds may also be spotted near dams and landfills. For many bald eagle populations, their arrival to their summering grounds marks a time of minimal food availability because many of the water sources may still be frozen. Fortunately, these birds can survive without food for several days. When food is available, bald eagles often gorge and store food in their crop for later digestion.
• Image | ©️ Tony’s Takes, Some Rights Reserved, (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
• Sources | (Alderfer, 2006; Andrews & Mosher, 1982; Anthony, Estes, Ricca, Miles, & Forsman, 2008; Brown, 1993; Brown, Stevens, & Yates, 1998; Bryan, Hopkins, Eldridge, Brisbin, & Jagoe, 2005; Buehler, 2020; Buehler, Mersmann, Fraser, & Seegar, 1991; Burnie & Wilson, 2001; Crossley, 2011; Curnutt & Robertson Jr, 1994; Dickinson, 2017; Hansen, 1986; Harvey, Moriarty, & Salathe, 2012; Kaufman, 2005; Keister, Anthony, & Holbo, 1985; Korhel & Clark, 1981; McCarthy, DeStefano, & Laskowski, 2010; McClelland, et al., 1994; Millsap, et al., 2004; Norman, Breault, & Moul, 1989; Parrish, Marvier, & Paine, 2001; Saalfeld & Conway, 2010; Sibley, 2003; Siciliano Martina, 2013; Stalmaster & Kaiser, 1998; Thompson, Nye, Schmidt, & Garcelon, 2005)
Learn More About the Bald Eagle