Natural Wonders: Bald Eagles
December 6, 2023
December 6, 2023
Discover the nation’s proudest symbol, the Bald Eagle, against the stunning landscapes of Lake Murray Country in South Carolina. Winter is an active time for these birds in our region, so look up at the skies, around large, tall trees, or around fish-filled bodies of water. If you didn’t know, only males dawn the iconic white feathered head, while females maintain their dark brown color all over. With their larger-than-life wingspans, they symbolize strength and freedom in the United States (all while only weighing about 10 lbs). Although once endangered, these regal birds have made a remarkable comeback, showcasing the success of conservation initiatives by local and national organizations.
“SCDNR was aware of a little over 350 active bald eagle territories in the state last year,” according to Amy Tegeler, Bird Conservation Coordinator for the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR).
Bald Eagles can be found in the state year-round. For the ultimate eagle-watching experience, plan your visit between October and March, with January being the peak viewing month. During this time, Bald Eagles migrate South for the winter, often returning to the same nest for years. Prime viewing locations include Dreher Island State Park, located on the shores of Lake Murray, and the Saluda, Broad, and Congaree Rivers. Bald Eagles are birds of prey, often hunting and eating fish from bodies of water. Explore park trails and enjoy riverbank views for a chance to see these magnificent birds flying, hunting, or nesting.
Check out these incredible photos of Bald Eagles taken by folks around the region (via eBird):
While Bald Eagles have made a comeback, they still face threats. You can be a part of their conservation by supporting organizations like the SCDNR and practicing responsible birdwatching. Your involvement ensures that these birds continue to thrive. Visit SCDNR’s Heritage Trust webpage to see the county- and watershed-level distribution of documented Bald Eagle nests in SC! If you think you have discovered a Bald Eagle nest, inform SCDNR.
Explore more of Lake Murray Country’s seasonal Natural Wonders like the Purple Martin Phenomenon and the Synchronous Fireflies at Congaree National Park. Keep your adventure going in Lake Murray Country – get outdoors and enjoy golfing, hiking, boating, and more on Lake Murray. Learn more about Lake Murray Country’s Outdoor Recreation and natural offerings as you plan your next vacation!