Bald Eagles in California: Where to See & Pictures

Bald eagles are one of the many majestic creatures that call California home. These national symbols can be found near waterways throughout the state, where they feed on fish and other small animals. 

While bald eagles were once on the brink of extinction, their population has rebounded in recent years thanks to conservation efforts. Today, it is estimated that there are over 1000 bald eagles in California.

Below, we’ll look at where to see them, eating habits, their breeding territories and more. But first, let’s look at the three important stages of their lives.

California Bald Eagle Life Cycle

Bald Eagle Eggs: How to Spot Them

For those who love spending time outdoors, bird watching is a common pastime. One of the things bald eagles are known for is their nest size; these nests are usually quite large, up to 7 feet wide, and easily visible in trees.

Bald eagle eggs are not always easy to spot, but from research we know they are dull white in color without spots. The female lays the eggs in a nest made of sticks, leaves, and grasses.

Once the babies hatch, they are fed by their parents with fish caught from the water. The chicks grow quickly and fledge at about 12-14 weeks old.


Bald eagle fledglings are a sight to behold. These majestic creatures are born with light gray down, but their feathers will darken as they mature.

The average fledgling weighs between two and four pounds. They have a wingspan of approximately three feet. Fledglings typically leave their nest after 14 weeks.

Once they fledge, bald eagles will spend the next few years honing their hunting and survival skills. After that, they will be ready to mate and start their own families.


Adult bald eagles have a wingspan of 5 to 8 feet. They are the only eagles that are completely white on their head and tail. The female bald eagle is larger than the male, with a body length 23 to 40 inches

Where can I find Bald Eagles in California?

Want to watch these large birds of prey? You can spot bald eagles in:

Northern California:

  • Shasta trinity national forest
  • Lewiston & Trinity lakes
  • Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuges
  • Clear Lake region

Southern California:

  • Cachuma lake – Perfect place to see wintering birds. Pontoon boat available for birding tours.
  • Lake Hemet and Diamond Valley Lake – Ideal to watch wintering bald eagles

Central California:

  • Millerton Lake recreation area
  • Lake San Antonio area
  • Bass lake area – Perfect for bald eagle watching in summer. Paddle boats available.

Other places include Lake Tahoe, a large freshwater lake located in the Sierra Nevada mountains. The lake is home to a variety of wildlife, including bald eagles.

Another place to see bald eagles in California is at the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex. The refuge complex consists of several different refuges, all of which are home to bald eagles. If you want to see bald eagles in California, you have plenty of options!

Are there bald eagles in California?

Yes, there are bald eagles in California. The majestic bird is a common sight in the Southern Sierra Nevada mountains, where they can be seen soaring overhead or perched in a tree.

These large birds were once on the brink of extinction, but thanks to conservation efforts, they have made a comeback in recent years. In fact, the population of bald eagles in California has been steadily increasing since the early 2000s.

Sightings are not limited to the Sierra Nevada mountains. The birds can also be seen near Lake Tahoe, Yosemite National Park, and even in urban areas.

Are they rare in California?

Bald eagles are not rare in California. In fact, they can be found in many parts of the state. However, they are not as common as other birds of prey, such as hawks and owls.

The best time to see bald eagles in California is during the winter months, when they come down from the mountains to hunt for food in the valleys and along the coast. During this time, they can be seen in many parks and wildlife areas.

Related Read: Check where to watch Bald Eagles in Texas

How many bald eagles are left in California?

As of 2016, there are an estimated 900 bald eagles in California. This is a significant increase from the 1970s when there were only around 50 bald eagles in the state. The increase is due to conservation efforts. Today, there are over 1000 pairs in the wild.

What are three interesting facts about bald eagles?

Bald eagles are one of the most recognizable birds in North America. Here are three interesting facts about these majestic creatures:

1. They get their name from the word ‘Haliaeetus leucocephalus’ meaning white-headed sea eagle.

2. Adults have dark brown feathers and yellow eyes. Their wingspan can be up to 7 feet wide!

3. Bald eagles mate for life and build huge nests, sometimes weighing as much as 1,000 pounds!

4. They have excellent eyesight and can see up to four times better than humans. Their keen vision is helpful when they are hunting for food.

5. These large California birds of prey can live to be around 30 years old in the wild. In captivity, they have been known to live even longer.

6. The female bald eagle is usually larger than the male. Females can weigh up to 14 pounds, while males only weigh up to 10 pounds.

How big is a bald eagle territory?

They are scavengers and predators, and their territory size varies according to the availability of food. A bald eagle’s nests can be found in trees, on cliff faces, or on the ground. They prefer areas with an abundance of waterways and trees.

The size of a bald eagle’s territory also depends on the season. In the winter, when food is scarce, bald eagles have been known to travel up to 100 miles from their nesting site in search of food. During the summer months, when food is more plentiful, bald eagles may only travel a few miles from their nest.

So, how big is a bald eagle’s territory? It really depends on the time of year and the availability of food.

Are there bald eagles in Yosemite?

Yes, there are bald eagles in Yosemite. The national park is home to a healthy population of the iconic birds. Visitors may be lucky enough to see one soaring through the air or perched atop a tree.

Yosemite’s bald eagles can be found near rivers and lakes, where they hunt for fish. Seeing one is a truly special experience. These magnificent birds are a symbol of America’s natural beauty and strength.

What kind of trees do bald eagles like?

Bald eagles are known to prefer certain types of trees for nesting, perching and roosting. According to The Wildlife Society, these majestic birds typically select tall trees that overlook water and have large branches for easy landing. While bald eagles will use a variety of tree species for these purposes, they do have some preferences.

One type of tree that bald eagles often choose is the cottonwood. These trees can grow quite tall – up to 100 feet – and have sturdy branches that can support the weight of an adult eagle. Cottonwoods also tend to have thick foliage, providing the birds with some shelter from the elements.

Another tree species that bald eagles like is the Douglas fir. These evergreens can also grow quite tall – sometimes reaching heights of 300 feet – and provide ample perching and roosting opportunities for the birds.

Final Thoughts:

In conclusion, the bald eagles in California are doing well. The population has been increasing and they have been able to adapt to their new environment. They are an important part of the ecosystem and are a top predator. We need to continue to protect them and their habitat so that they can thrive.


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