The Bald Eagle in the Grand Canyon

The bald eagle has not always lived in the Grand Canyon. In 1985, the bird migrated to the park after it happened to find new sources of prey. At one time, the bird was part of the Endangered Species list. However, because of its new home in the canyon, the bald eagle was eventually removed from the list. Having so many bald eagles inhabiting the Grand Canyon, you might even have called it the canyon of the eagles. Unfortunately, recent reports indicate that climate change could eventually lead to the bird’s extinction.

Best Places to Spot a Bald Eagle

The best places to see popular Grand Canyon wildlife, such as the bald eagle, is about one mile from the Colorado River, or at the edges of rock pinnacles or cliffs. The birds also like trees, such as the ponderosa pine or sycamore tree.

What to Look For

The bird is defined as a large raptor that exhibits a dark brown body and white tail and head. Its wings are broad and long. When it is a juvenile, the bird displays white mottled wings with its brown body. The mottled white tail features a dark band at the tip.

By comparison, the bald eagle dwarfs other raptors, such as the red-tailed hawk and turkey vulture. Its length is about 27 inches to 37 inches, and weight around 105 to 220 ounces. The eagle’s wing span covers a space of about 80 inches.

Where They Live

Bald eagles mainly stay close to water such as lakes, rivers, marshes, reservoirs, and coastal areas. That is why the bald eagle favors spots along the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon National Park. While it is great to spot a bird, such as the bald eagle, when visiting the canyon, visitors normally report that they see a good deal of the turkey vulture instead.

If you try to digi-scope birds that soar overhead, you may find it a bit challenging. When birds soar in this manner, it is easier to just forget the scope and enjoy the soaring bird. Also, when you see a soaring raptor, it is normally too high up to even get a high-definition photo. You just have to immerse yourself in the nature experience. Not everything has to be recorded with electronics or cameras. Sometimes, it is just better to archive the experience in your memory.

Bird Watching in the Canyon

When it comes to raptor watching, the Grand Canyon is a great place to discover soaring red-tailed hawks, California condors, turkey vultures, and bald eagles. If you miss capturing an eagle in flight, you can always save this experience for an Alaska trip. Or, better yet, it may be best to return to the canyon when you have more time.

About the Author

Kyle Gooverton

Kyle Gooverton

A Grand Canyon enthusiast! A local Las Vegas resident that loves the flora and the fauna of all things Southwest.