Bald Eagles in 2014
When most people hear of migratory birds, they think of flocks of waterfowl flying south for the winter and songbirds arriving early in the spring. While Colorado is summer and breeding range for many species of birds, including neotropicals like warblers or tanagers, it is also wintering range for many species of raptors, including bald eagles.
Though Colorado is where migratory eagles “fly south” to every winter, many pairs of eagles will become year-round residents and breed when habitat and food supply are favorable. Two pairs of eagles have made Blue Valley Ranch their year-round home, with successful broods over the last 10 years.
One way to tell male from female birds is to look at the depth of the beak (distance from top to bottom), where the female’s is slightly larger. That’s still a bit of a challenge to do, however, even through a telephoto lens.
Eagles are known to mate for life, and can live over 20 years in the wild. They tend to nest earlier than most species, often re-building nests in February and laying eggs by mid-March, as this pair is hopefully preparing to do very soon.