When people look for a home, one consideration is convenience to a grocery store. The bald eagles that nest here had something similar in mind: access to their favorite food - fish - in the Catawba River. When keen eyes on a handy meal, they built their nest of sticks lined with moss and grass.
Eagles mate for life, and this pair are permanent residents, opting not to migrate as others do. Since the mid-1990s, this female has laid eggs every February and eaglets have "fledged" or learned to fly by late May.
Watch these magnificent symbols of America, but respect the nest - it is their home.
Left Eagles lay one to three eggs, which hatch in about five weeks. Cared for by both parents, eaglets are ready to leave the next when they are ten to twelve weeks old. Only about half will survive their first year. Still, eagles in the wild have a forty-year lifespan.
Center Able to fly at 30 mph and dive at speeds close to 100 mph, eagles are fearsome hunters. They grab prey - whether fish or fowl, reptile or mammal - with their talons, and can fly off carrying up to four pounds.
Right Bald Eagles are found in every U.S. state except Hawaii. Adults weight nine to twelve pounds, with females being larger than males. Their wingspan
of up to seven feet makes bald eagles one of the biggest North American birds.