How to Attract Bald Eagles to Your Property / Yard in 5 Steps

How to attract bald eagles

As one of the most iconic birds in North America, many people want to see bald eagles up close and personal.

One way of doing that is from the comfort of your own property, particularly if you invest in binoculars and nest cams to get the full experience. But how do you attract bald eagles to your yard? 

Well, I spent some time speaking with the pros and they helped me to develop the ultimate guide to attracting bald eagles to nest on your property. Here’s all you need to know.

How to attract bald eagles to your yard

1. Attract bald eagles with a natural food source

Bald eagles prey on small mammals and rodents, so if you want to attract them into your yard, then they need a plentiful food source. Whilst the idea of encouraging a rodent problem on your property might not appeal, a resident bald eagle could certainly keep it in check.

If you can’t stomach encouraging their prey to live naturally in your yard, you could attract bald eagles to your property by leaving out food for them. People who have done this successfully have placed dead animal carcasses out, even on the roof of their home.

When bald eagles have plenty of the food they like and have a tree to nest in (here’s how high), you could be onto a winner. To be successful in attracting them, do in the times that they are migrating to find food. 

What food attracts bald eagles?

Aside from meat, bald eagles who live near coastal areas love fish, and they will risk their lives to catch a big one. That won’t be a problem in your yard of course, but the smell of fish could help attract them.

How to attract bald eagles to your yard
Dead fish left in your yard could be the perfect bait for a bald eagle (Credit:

In terms of other critters that are prey to bald eagles, if your yard has animals like rabbits, squirrels, raccoons, and reptiles, you could be in luck. Eagles are made to hunt but can be lazy and prefer to scavenge. 

As described earlier, they will be more than happy to pick up dead carcasses from your yard. Don’t think you have to climb up on the roof though. You can instead put dead fish or animal carcasses near a tree. 

Handy Hint: The bald eagle doesn’t really have any natural predators in the food chain, but some animals will eat bald eagles if the opportunity arises. 

2. Attract bald eagles with a constant water source

Bald eagles like to be near a water source such as lakes. That might not be possible in your own yard, so to attract bald eagles, leave out as much water as you can.

The expert I spoke to mentioned he’s filled up 2 kids paddling pools with water giving the eagle a place to bathe, cool off in, and drink from. You can buy these on Amazon – don’t get inflatable ones, the eagles talons and beak will burst it. 

Make sure you replace the water weekly to avoid it becoming stagnant.

Handy Hint: Did you know that eagles can actually swim short distances when hunting for fish?

3. Attract bald eagles with tall trees to nest in 

To successfully attract bald eagles to your yard, you need to think about how you will attract them to nest. Without a nest, they are not going to stick around once they have eaten. 

Bald eagles generally nest near coastlines, rivers, and large lakes where there is an adequate food supply. They nest in mature or old-growth trees, snags (dead trees), cliffs, and rock promontories

US Fish & Wildlife Service

Your property might not have coastlines, rivers, and large lakes, but you can make an attractive nesting area. If your property has tall trees in it, you’re already winning.

What type of trees do bald eagles prefer?

When considering the suitability of your property for attracting bald eagles, the type of tree is important. Bald eagles typically like to nest in pines, spruces, firs, oaks, hickories, and cottonwoods. 

How do I attract bald eagles to nest
A good tree might attract the bald eagle to make a nest (Credit:

When sat in their tree nest, the bald eagles will also need to be able to see clearly from all directions. 

But you might not have tall trees or have the time (and we’re talking decades) for trees to grow. So, you need to make a nest for them instead. Here’s how… 

4. Attract bald eagles with your own nest

One of the experts I consulted with explained how many people attract bald eagles onto their property by building a nest environment. If you don’t have a tree in your back garden, you can make a roost for them yourself. 

How people have done this is by erecting a long pole, almost telegraph pole height. They then make perches strong enough that won’t break due to an eagle weighing between 3 to 6 kg.

They will then place and interweave tree branches into the perches, eventually making an artificial nest. Essentially what you are doing here is imitating a nest that a bald eagle would make, with twigs, leaves and moss.

If you don’t understand what I mean, in 1995 the Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station made their own bald eagle nests, and uploaded instructions on how to do so. You can download that here.

As you can imagine, it is far better if you have a tree, so that the bald eagle can make a nest there. Bald eagles are territorial and will come back for several years. Adding to their home with more twigs and leaves as time goes on. Some of these bald eagles can produce huge nests for themselves and their families.

Generally, both female and male bald eagles make nests on trees themselves, using twigs, leaves and their own down feathers to make the nest as comfortable as they can, for when they prepare to lay eggs. This can take several months to build and isn’t an easy process. 

The bald eagle is known for building the largest nest out of any American bird, which is 3 meters deep, 2 and a half meters wide and just over 11kg in weight.  

Whichever approach to nesting you take, make sure you invest in a nest cam so you can watch the bald eagles. You can buy outdoor bird spy cameras which can be placed into trees and nests – such as this one on Amazon.

5. Keep the bald eagles in your yard

If you want to keep your bald eagle happy and make sure that they stay on your property, then you need to ensure they have enough food to sustain themselves. They need an average of 250 to 500g of food daily. 

If they do not get enough food or go without food for more than a few days, then it won’t have the energy to hunt or build its nest properly and will seek a different environment.

As well as food and a nest, they won’t like dogs running about and loud noise. If you can keep the noise on your property to a minimum, the bald eagle is more likely to stay. 

It’s also worth noting that bald eagles are apex predators. They won’t distinguish prey from smaller domestic animals like kittens or ferrets so be very careful. 

if you are concerned, here’s how much weight a bald eagle can pick up and carry away to check against your own pets.

The benefits of attracting bald eagles to your yard

When you successfully attract bald eagles to a nest on your property, it’s going to give you some amazing opportunities to watch these majestic birds. If you haven’t already, make sure that you invest in a decent pair of binoculars (view on Amazon) – as well as the nest cam I referred to earlier!

As well as providing some great wildlife experiences, bald eagles can also control the wildlife in your yard. Bald eagles are fantastic at keeping your property free from pesky rodents. 

You should now have enough tips to hopefully increase the chances of you being able to attract bald eagles to nest on your property. Here are some more things you should know to get a better chance of knowing when to attract one, and other interesting facts.

What time of year do bald eagles nest?

You tend to see bald eagles in the wintertime because they travel for longer periods to find a new home. The earliest you will see them is in November, in the early hours of the morning, from 6am to 10am, the latest. This is because in the afternoon they will be travelling at high speeds and will make seeing them more difficult.

In the spring and summer bald eagles will return to their nests, to breed and raise their young.

What does it mean when a bald eagle lands in your yard?

Some people believe that if an eagle has appeared near you and landed in your yard, they will give you the freedom and strength to look forward. Others also say that bald eagles will offer spiritual guidance. 

The eagle represents the importance of being honest and embarking on truthfulness. You should summon the eagle if you are looking for a change in your life, a challenge, or a creative journey.  

bald eagle on grass
Seeing a bald eagle in your yard could be the sign of good things to come (Credit:

What happens if a bald eagle builds a nest on your property?

If you are lucky enough that a bald eagle builds a nest on your property, then you should be aware of certain legal obligations you have in the United States. Some of the laws regarding this means the following:

  • You cannot take eggs or birds from (or disturb) a bald eagle’s nest.
  • This means no disruptive activity near the nest which might agitate the bird to leave.
  • Disruptive activity is banned within a 350-foot distance of the nest.

For more detail read the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.

Are bald eagles endangered?

In the 18th century, the bald eagle population ranged from 300,000 to 500,000. Unfortunately, as time went on their population decreased significantly and they became endangered. 

In 1992, the population came down to 110,000 to 115,000. The factors of depopulation were caused but not limited to loss of suitable habitat (they prefer to be close to lakes, water and tall trees), as well as legal and illegal shooting. Illegal shooting being the leading cause of population decline.

However, the bald eagle is no longer considered an endangered species as of June 2007 when it was taken off the list (view source).

Four decades after it was officially declared an endangered species, America’s most iconic bird, the bald eagle, has been taken off the critical list, conservationists announced today.

What time of day are bald eagles most active?

You are more likely to see a bald eagle during the winter months (here’s what the eat in winter). Between December and February, bald eagles are most active early in the morning between 7 and 9am. In the afternoons you will also see them soaring in the sky between 4 and 5pm.


The name bald eagle can easily confuse some people into thinking that these eagles are bald, but they are not. The word ‘balde’ comes from the ancient meaning; white-headed, which these birds are – hopefully you will get to see some in your yard sometime soon!

One final note though, prepare to be disappointed if you don’t put the effort in or are not persistent. It’s tricky for eagles to attract and nest down in a backyard, so you might have to keep trying year on year. 

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Categorized as Birds