» Bald Eagle Viewing

Bald Eagle Viewing

Shasta Lake is home to “the largest population of nesting bald eagles in California”! These eagles “are year-round residents” to the Shasta Lake area making it a perfect destination for even the most armature bird watcher to catch a glimpse of the great American bald eagle.  Although the eagle has since been removed from the endangered species list, the Forest Service has continued to passionately fight to protect their nesting sites to increase their population.  Their efforts have certainly paid off considering the eagle population in Shasta Lake has increased from 5 in 1987 to 54 this year.

Viewing Tips:

Packers Bay is a designated wildlife viewing site which makes Summit Retreat a perfect bird watching post as it sits on the highest point just miles from Packers Bay. The Pit River Arm of Shasta Lake is also one of the best eagle viewing places.

Eagle nests are typically found in large trees near lakes, rivers, or coasts and are normally around five feet in diameter.

Be sure to bring a pair of binoculars and pay close attention to any postings of restricted areas. Eagles are especially sensitive during nesting season (March through end of July) and extra caution is advised so as not to disturb them.

NOTE: Under the Bald Eagle Protection Act it is illegal for anyone to collect eagles or eagle parts, nests, or eggs without a permit.

Various Facts:

  • Adult eagles have a white head and a white tail with a dark brown body
  • Immature bald eagles are dark brown with irregular white plumage
  • Eagles reach maturity and adult plumage at 5 ½ years.
  • Eagles mate for life- replacing their partner only in the event of death
  • Eagles return to the same nest site year after year and simply add new material to their old nest
  • One to three eggs are laid in March, usually hatch in April and young eagles begin to fly in July
  • Bald eagles are found only in North America
  • Eagles can live 50 years in captivity and possibly 30 years in the wild


“Largest Nesting of Bald Eagles in State” from Shasta Lake Bulletin Visitors Guide summer 2008 edition, page 26

“Bald Eagle Population is on the Rise in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest” article link found here.