On two separate occasions last week, I witnessed two Bald Eagles becoming agitated with one another as one of them attempted to perch in the same tree as the other at Charleston Lake in Charleston, Arkansas. Fortunately, I was able to capture two photos of these magnificent birds, which I am sharing with you today. In one of the photos, it appears that one of the Eagles was trying to get the other to leave the tree so that it could take its place.
Bald Eagles are territorial creatures that require a large area with tall trees located near water for nesting and perching. They spend about 90% of their daylight hours perching, which makes choosing the right perch tree an essential consideration when selecting a breeding territory. These majestic birds are known to be territorial and often have favorite trees that they habitually use for different functions such as lookout points, resting, hunting, or foraging. As a result, when they attempt to perch in a tree near each other, it can lead to territorial disputes and agitated behavior.
I wish you could hear the noises they make while this is all occurring. Bald Eagles communicate with each other using a variety of sounds to convey different needs and emotions. They use calls to establish territory without conflict and to communicate with their breeding partners. These calls include weak, high-pitched vocalizations such as chirps, whistles, harsh chatters, and distinct calls like the ‘Peal Call’ and ‘Chatter Call.’ Additionally, they may give visual displays such as head and wing motions when feeling threatened or during breeding displays. Bald Eagles are known to be monogamous and vocally communicate with their breeding partners, especially when returning to their nest and during the breeding season.
Note: I previously wrote a blog post “The Piercing Cries of the Bald Eagle” where I wrote more about the various calls of Bald Eagles. I also posted a link in that article to a video I recorded of one these birds vocalizing.
Image Information (First Image):
- Date: 12/19/23
- Time: 08:57 AM
- Camera: Canon EOS R5
- Lens: Canon RF 100-500mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM
- ISO: 2000
- Aperture: 8
- Shutter: 1/3200
- Exp. Comp.: +0.7
- Lens (mm): 500
- Program Mode: Manual