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Eagles are a Complimentary Extra
There can’t be many people who can truthfully say that they have eagles for neighbors; and we feel very privileged to be able to share a little in the lives of the bald eagle family which nest close by to Eagles View Bed and Breakfast, here on the Puget Sound in Seattle. You can watch the eagles as they soar over the ridge from our viewing area and they can be seen in breeding season feeding their chicks. Having the Eagles living next door (almost) we wanted to be able to share an insight into them with our guests.
Getting to Meet the Neighbors
Listed as an endangered species between 1978 and 1995, the bald eagle had increased its populations enough to be re-classified as threatened; and since 1989 the eagles have increased in number by around 8% a year. The numbers of breeding pairs in the wild had reached such by 2007 that the bald eagle has now been removed from the list of threatened and endangered species altogether. Despite this, the bald eagle remains a Species of Concern for the US Fish and Wildlife Service and is classified as a sensitive species within the State of Washington by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Because eagles tend to return to the same nesting sites year after year, repairing and rebuilding their nests from the previous breeding season, and overwinter in this area too, we are lucky enough to be able to see our neighbors on a regular basis. Nesting here in April and May, the eggs hatch around 5 weeks after laying and the chicks become fledglings at around 3 months old, though the parents continue to care for the chicks for some weeks after they first take flight. Because eaglets do not have the white head feathers of the adults until they reach maturity at four or five years old, they can be mistaken for the golden eagle. However, the golden eagle differs from the bald eagle, with a smaller head and bill, as well as feathers down their legs to their toes. Indeed, the golden eagle is quite rare here on the Puget Sound and you are more likely to see a young bald eagle.
Our neighbors are members of the sea and fish eagle group and like to live on the coastline or close by large lakes and rivers. They are the largest animals in their food chain and feed mainly on fish; they tend to avoid domestic livestock and chickens. Depending on the availability of food, the hunting range of a bald eagle can vary between 1,700 to 10,000 acres; where food is plentiful though, hunting ranges can be smaller than this.
Bird watching Opportunities in the Area
Needless to say, there are a number of activities for the visitor who is interested in seeing more of these wonderful eagles and the many other birds, such as the Pacific Wren and Anna’s Hummingbird, which are resident in this region; or which are winter or summer visitors. http://wa.audubon.org/puget-loop gives details about the Puget Loop, an impressive bird watching trail which takes in: Eastside; Kitsap; Rainer; San Juan; Seattle; Tahoma; Vashon-Maury; and Whidbey. It would be impossible to cover the entire trail in one visit to the area, but you can choose a section that appeals to you and which will fit in with your vacation plans while you are with us.