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Bald Eagles of Admiralty Island Alaska: A Majestic Bird of Prey at Pybus Point Lodge

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Bald Eagles of Admiralty Island Alaska: A Majestic Bird of Prey at Pybus Point Lodge

A beautiful close up shot of a bald eagle.

Pybus Point Lodge is a premier fishing and wilderness lodge offering visitors the unique opportunity to be totally immersed in the Alaskan wilderness. Our guests travel from around the world to experience some of Alaska’s finest views and see the state’s unique wildlife for themselves. Thanks to our incredible location on Admiralty Island, everything from humpback whales to delicious halibut can be found close by. One of the most exciting animals that you can observe during your vacation is the majestic bald eagle, and Admiralty Island happens to boast one of the highest bald eagle densities on planet earth. If you want to see one of these gorgeous creatures for yourself, Pybus Point Lodge is the place for you!

In this post, we’ll teach you everything you need to know about bald eagles, and tell you a little bit about what makes Pybus Point Lodge such a splendid place to observe bald eagles in their natural habitat.


A bald eagle perched high in a tree on Admiralty Island.

Bald Eagles may be the national bird of the United States, but they’re commonly found all across North America–even as far south as Mexico. That being said, the vast majority of bald eagles live within the borders of the U.S. and Alaska has the largest populations in the whole country. According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, the highest concentrations of bald eagles within the state are found in the islands of southeastern Alaska–right where Pybus Point Lodge is located

In fact, Admiralty Island specifically has one of the highest densities of bald eagles in the entire world. But why exactly is Admiralty Island and the surrounding area such a great place for a bald eagle to live?

Bald eagles need two things for a long and happy life: a good tree to nest in and plenty of fish. For now, let’s talk about trees and save the fishing talk for a bit later. Bald eagles thrive in old growth forests, AKA a forest that has existed for a VERY long time without much human interference. These ecosystems have a high concentration of trees which provide the perfect habitat for a wide variety of life forms–including bald eagles. 

A bald eagle looking down from its perch.

Bald eagles look for tall, hardwood trees where they can build their nests. The tree needs to be tall so the eagles can keep an eye out for prey, and the tree needs to be made of nice hard wood so it can support the incredible weight of their nest. Bald eagle nests can often weigh over 2,000 pounds and stand over 13 feet tall! That means that a single nest weighs as much as a 1979 Volkswagen Beetle! To withstand this massive weight, a tree needs a strong, stable root system underneath. 

Most importantly, eagles build nests in trees that are close to open water–and Admiralty Island and its surrounding islands check all the boxes for a bald eagle dream home.

Pybus Point Lodge is situated on the island's southeastern shore, surrounded by pristine wilderness that provides an ideal habitat for these majestic birds of prey. Admiralty and the surrounding islands are home to the Tongas National Forest, a MASSIVE old growth forest that’s right along the coast of the Northern Pacific. As a guest of Pybus Point Lodge you can observe bald eagles soaring over the water, diving for fish, and perching in the trees that line the shore all from the porch of your luxury cabin.  

Physical Characteristics

A juvenile bald eagle soaring high in the sky.

Bald eagles are one of the most iconic birds of prey in North America, renowned for their majestic appearance and impressive size. These birds are easily recognizable by their striking white heads, dark brown bodies, and powerful curved beaks. (Though bald eagles don’t grow their distinctive white head feathers until they’re around 3 years old.)

Bald eagles are the second largest birds of prey in North America, with a wingspan between 6-8 feet and a weight anywhere between 7-14 pounds! Both male and female bald eagles appear almost identical, though females tend to be a bit larger than males. 

Their wings are broad and powerful, allowing them to soar gracefully over the water and cover great distances with ease. Bald eagles are also equipped with sharp talons that they use to catch their prey and defend themselves against predators.

In addition to their impressive physical size, bald eagles have exceptional eyesight, which is up to four times better than that of a human. This sharp vision allows them to spot their prey from very far away, making them highly effective hunters.

Bald eagles are also known for their distinctive vocalizations, which range from high-pitched whistles to loud, harsh calls. These vocalizations are used for a variety of purposes, including communication with other eagles and as a means of establishing territory.

Diet and Hunting Behavior

A bald eagle snatching a fish out of the water.

Bald eagles are apex predators that are opportunistic hunters and scavengers. While bald eagles are known to prey on small mammals and birds, the bulk of their diet is fish. Along the northern pacific coast line, bald eagles primarily dine on trout and salmon along with some saltwater species like herring and pollock. 

Lucky for you, the bay right in front of Pybus Point Lodge is jam-packed with herring and 4 different species of salmon! During the early summer months, you can witness these majestic birds swooping from high above to snatch up a tasty fish with their incredibly sharp talons. The local eagles have built nests all along the coastline where they scan the waters for an unsuspecting school of fish. 

How exactly do they do this? Bald eagles are also known for their impressive ability to locate prey. They have incredible eyesight and can spot a fish from up to a mile away. They also have specialized feathers around their nostrils that help them to detect smells, which is a useful adaptation when scavenging for food.

Just like vultures, bald eagles will at times scavenge meat off of dead animals. Bald eagles have been seen eating hooven animals like deer and elk, and have even been seen feasting on beached whales! 

According to the American Eagle Foundation, an average bald eagle eats between 0.6-1 pound per day with approximately 70-90% of their diet consisting of fish.

Reproduction and Lifecycle 

Some bald eagles at different stages of their lifecycle.

Bald eagles have a fascinating life cycle that begins with courtship and mating. Adult bald eagles typically mate for life and can often be seen engaging in elaborate courtship displays. These displays involve aerial acrobatics, such as swooping and diving, as well as vocalizations and other behaviors.

Once a pair of bald eagles has mated, they will build a nest together. After that the female will lay one to three eggs, with an average incubation period of around 35 days. Both parents take turns incubating the eggs, with the male and female sharing this responsibility equally. 

Once the eggs hatch, the parents continue to take turns caring for the chicks, with one parent staying in the nest to keep the chicks warm while the other goes out to hunt for food. Bald eagle chicks grow very quickly, and within a few months, they are ready to leave the nest and begin to learn to fly.

After leaving the nest, juvenile bald eagles will continue to be cared for by their parents for several months, as they learn to hunt and fend for themselves. Bald eagles typically reach sexual maturity at around four to five years old, and will then begin the process of finding a mate and building their own nest.

Bald eagles have a relatively long lifespan, with some individuals living up to 30 years in the wild.

Conservation Status

Two bald eagles.

Bald eagles were once on the brink of extinction due to habitat loss and hunting, but thanks to conservation efforts, their populations have dramatically rebounded! In fact, bald eagle conservation is studied as a model for wildlife conservation efforts around the world. By the 1960’s a combination of habitat destruction and widespread use of dangerous pesticides nearly wiped out the entirety of the U.S. bald eagle population. At this low point, there were less than 500 bald eagles in the entire country, a farcy from the 100,000 that lived in the U.S. when they were made the national bird.

Over the decades, lawmakers, scientists, and passionate conservationists have worked together to save the bald eagle. By 2007 bald eagles were removed from the endangered species list and there are currently over 300,000 bald eagles in the lower 48 states alone, with an additional 30,000 just in the state of Alaska!

What To Keep In Mind When Visiting Bald Eagle Territory

A squawking bald eagle.

Bald eagles might be vicious to an unsuspecting salmon, but for a human, bald eagles are perfectly harmless. That being said, bald eagles are still federally protected and Uncle Sam has some strict rules for anyone who comes across one of these beautiful birds.

  • Never pick up a bald eagle feather. As tempting as it may sound, touching any part of a bald eagle or its nest is a federal crime that can result in a $100,000 fine. And trust us, the TSA agents in the Juneau Airport will stop you if you have an eagle feather in your bag.
  • Give bald eagles plenty of space. Federal law prohibits anyone from getting within 330 feet of an eagle. Of course, sometimes a bald eagle may choose to land close to you. If this happens, make sure to back up and maintain a legal distance.
  • Don’t disturb a bald eagle. This includes things like touching a nest, throwing rocks, or harassing an eagle with a drone. Eagles are sensitive creatures and any human interference could cause real harm.

When walking around the forest, just follow these rules and you’ll be perfectly fine. Bald eagles are beautiful animals and we want you to enjoy seeing them up close! Feel free to take some photos, record a video, and soak in the experience. 

Book Your Alaska Vacation With Pybus Point Lodge!

The beautiful Pybus Point Lodge.

Bald eagles of Admiralty Island, are a magnificent species that have captivated humans for centuries. At Pybus Point Lodge, you can experience the thrill of observing these birds up close and personal, as they soar over the water, hunt for fish, and build their massive nests. 

Of course, you can enjoy a whole lot more than bald eagles during your all-inclusive vacation. When it comes to wildlife viewing, you’ll love our whale watching tours and our sealion and seal observation tours! We also have a plethora of exciting activities and excursions available every day. Whether you want to enjoy a day of guided saltwater fishing, a kayaking tour, or tour a serene glacier, we’ve got you covered! Check out our full list of excursions here!

Once you arrive, we’ll introduce you to your full-time guide who can show you what Alaska is all about. After that, we’ll take you to your luxury, ocean-front cabin where you can unwind after an action packed day. To learn more about our all-inclusive vacation package, click here!

Ready to book your Alaskan adventure? Reserve your vacation today! At Pybus Point Lodge you can immerse yourself in the rugged Alaskan wilderness in luxurious comfort. If you have any questions about our lodge and what we offer, just give us a call. Our team is standing by ready to answer any questions you may have.

Fun Facts About Bald Eagles!

A huge group of bald eagles in front of Pybus Point Lodge.

  • Bald eagles are not actually bald! Their name comes from the word "piebald," which means "having patches of two different colors." Bald eagles have dark brown feathers on their bodies and wings, with white feathers on their heads and tails.
  • Bald eagles are incredibly powerful fliers and can reach speeds of up to 40 miles per hour.
  • Bald eagles have excellent eyesight and can see prey from over a mile away.
  • Bald eagles are apex predators, meaning they are at the top of the food chain in their habitats.
  • The bald eagle is the national bird and symbol of the United States of America. ‘Merica
  • Bald eagles are known for their distinctive call, which sounds like a high-pitched scream.
  • Bald eagles have a wingspan of up to 7 feet, making them one of the largest birds of prey in North America.
  • Bald eagles are known for their longevity, with some individuals living up to 30 years in the wild.
  • Bald eagles are strong swimmers and can use their wings to "row" through the water.
  • Bald eagles are known for their impressive hunting skills and will feed on a variety of prey, including fish, birds, and small mammals.  

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Discover why people like you can’t stop talking about Pybus Point Lodge. More than 30 years ago, the lodge opened as a simple fishing camp, drawing a devoted following in spite of basic accommodations. With new owners and experienced captains and crew, our corner of Alaska has become an unbeatable fishing and eco-tourism resort.

Andrea Tate

Incredible Experience!

Pybus Point Lodge has some of the most stunning scenery I’ve ever seen. I mean absolutely breathtaking! In addition to the amazing fishing, I hiked to a beautiful secluded lake, soaked in some hot pots, saw several waterfalls, went whale watching, saw bears and all kinds of wildlife and marine life. As a photographer, photographing a wedding under a waterfall will remain a highlight of my life.

Shirley Johnson

Pybus Point Lodge - WOW!

We had the best time! This was our first visit to Pybus, but it definitely will not be our last. The stunning scenery, amazing fishing experience, and the joy of meeting new friends – all outstanding! We did not want to leave!!! If you are thinking about this trip – don’t think any more, just book it. You will not regret it!!!

Sharon Hedding

Trip of a Lifetime!

We had such an amazing time the staff was so wonderful and the lodge was fantastic! capt Joe was so helpful and always doing what ever he could do to make each day special. a special thank you to both Scott and Jody for taking the time to make us feel like family. can't wait to go back next year

Jason Nielsen

Wonderful and Magical Place

We had an amazing business retreat to Pybus Point Lodge.  Everything was top notch... the fishing, the staff, the boat captains, the food, the accommodations, and especially the scenery. I really liked that Pybus took care of everything from start to finish. Chef John is an amazing cook. We had delicious hot meals the entire trip.  The cabins were amazing and very comfortable.  The fishing was awesome and that’s coming from a guy that doesn’t fish that much.

Brandon Foote

We brought home 100lbs of fish!

My wife and I spent a week at Pybus Point this Summer. We had a beautiful, private room overlooking the bay and our own new, ensuite, private bathroom. What an amazing place for couples to get away together. We set our own breakfast time, met our boat captain after, fished the day along, and returned to clean up and enjoy a nice dinner at the restaurant. Next time Alaska is on the trip list, Sherrie and I will go together, and it will be to Pybus Point!

Kent Danjanovich

Fun in Alaska

This was my first trip to Pybus Point. I stayed in one of their new cabins. The accommodations were incredible, the view onto the bay in the mornings was stunning. I loved the staff and the food was really very good. All of this and they have new boats to take you out onto fairly calm waters to fish. The fishing guides were great. Overall a great experience. Definitely going back.


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