How Many Babies Can an Eagle Have?

many-babies-can-eagle Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Region/CC-BY-2.0

Bald eagles can lay as many as five eggs, though clutches of one to three eggs are much more common; these eggs typically have mixed hatching success, with the average eagle ending up with a brood of about two chicks. However, in some locations, high hatching success rates have been reported, resulting in broods of three or four bald eagle chicks. Nesting bald eagle pairs tend to keep watch over their eggs at all times due to the risk of incursion by nest predators such as squirrels and predatory birds including ravens and gulls.

Bald eagle eggs are relatively large for bird eggs and are comparable in size to a baseball. These eggs are sturdy enough to bear the weight of an adult bald eagle, and they are usually a whitish or off-white color. Adults must sit on the eggs not only to ward off predators but also to keep the eggs warm enough to remain viable. In some cases, weather events make this impossible, and even the most diligent bald eagle parents can end up with nonviable eggs after a cold snap. The eggs are incubated for a little over a month before hatching occurs, and both male and female eagles share the responsibility of keeping the eggs safe and warm.