At Afognak Wilderness Lodge, we’re proud to help guests from all over the world experience the sheer majesty of the wild in the Kodiak Archipelago. Our wilderness vacations feature breathtaking opportunities for nature photography, awe-inspiring hikes with plenty of wildlife, and magnificent bird watching – and one of the birds we often see around Kodiak is the bald eagle. As our country’s national bird, the bald eagle is an iconic symbol of North America and the US. Here are a few things we bet you didn’t know about the bald eagle!

A New Meaning to Turkey Day

While the bald eagle is now inextricably tied to America, it wasn’t always set to be the nation’s bird. Ben Franklin wanted the national bird to be the turkey, as bald eagles are scavengers whereas turkeys aren’t. Franklin thought the turkey’s aversion to dead corpses more dignified, so he preferred it as the national bird – but in the end, the bald eagle won out.

They Sound Different Than You Think

Picture a bald eagle’s call, and you probably hear a powerful screech that tears across the sky, seemingly cutting the air in half. Unfortunately, though, that’s not what bald eagles sound like! Bald eagles emit something closer to a weak scream or a sort of high-pitched giggle. The call is so unimpressive that most Hollywood editors overdub the bird’s call with that of a red-tailed hawk, which boasts a much more intimidating screech.

They’ve Built the Largest Nest

Bald eagles mate for life, and they’ll often use the same nest year after year, adding more to the nest each time. This means that after a while, a bald eagle’s nest can get quite impressive! Most bald eagle nests are 2-4 feet deep and 4-5 feet wide, which is large in its own right. But bald eagles hold the Guinness World Record for the largest bird’s nest ever built: one pair in Florida built a nest 20 feet deep and 9.5 feet wide, weighing in at over 2 tons!

See a Bald Eagle & Plan Your Alaska Wilderness Vacation

Despite their giggle-like call, bald eagles are truly majestic animals to behold in the wild – and at Afognak Wilderness Lodge, we can help you see them up close and personal. Bald eagles roam through Kodiak, AK and the surrounding islands throughout the year, and our guests regularly spot them throughout the course of their stay. If you’d like to see them for yourself, there’s no better place to do it than Kodiak, Alaska. Contact us to plan your wilderness vacation today!