When eagles mate

January 28, 2011 • 9:48 am

I’m sure everyone is wondering, in light of the EagleCam, how eagles actually DO IT.  They’re going to be producing eggs in a month or so, and we’ll all be watching, but before that a certain act must ensue.  How, exactly, do eagles copulate?  Do their sharp talons hurt each other? How long does it take?

Never fear, YouTube has the answer.  They have everything, so if you just search for “eagle sex” you’ll find a pair of bald eagles filmed in flagrante delicto:

As in most birds, the act takes only a few seconds (seven by my count), and is preceded by a lot of mutual singing.  If you watch carefully at the end, you’ll see the female light a cigarette while the male flies off to brag to his buddies.

h/t: Yokohamamama

15 thoughts on “When eagles mate

  1. There’s an eaglet (maybe two?) in a monitored nest on Jordan Lake in NC. I can’t believe they hatch so early–it’s cold here.
    See it here: http://www.basic.ncsu.edu/eaglecam/index.html
    They want viewers to document prey and feeding rates at the nest. Citizen Science is cool.

    I’m getting a horrible picture, but maybe it’s my computer or browser or my version of Quick Time. Or, according to folks following this on facebook, they’ve been having some problems with the camera.

    1. How the bloody hell would I know? 🙂

      Alternatively, I could pull a Clinton and ask you what you mean by “successful”!

  2. I do love the unintentional irony of the ads that are served by YouTube.

    The first one I saw in this video was “Date Pretty Chinese Girl. Find your love now.”

    And after that…”Advanced prostate cancer?”

  3. Can you believe that yearts ago ranchers would should shoot all species of raptors out of the sky by the thousands,out of what I can only assume was a combination of Christian insanity,human cussedness,and maybe boredom.(Ive always maibtained that boredom is the root of all evil)The really stoopid punchline to this is that raptors were then,and are now-a ranchers best friend.

  4. The Eagle Has Mated!! Saw them (or rather, my husband saw them–I was in the bathroom. Unbelievable.) at about 9pm our time, 7am Virginia time. According to my husband:

    “Oh! You miss! Zey mate! He was on top just now!”

    me: “NO WAY”…but looking at the two eagles sitting side-by-side on the branch–clearly post-coital.


    1. Oops–forgot to add that my husband said that it only lasted 5 or 6 seconds, very fast, and the male was flapping his wings while on top. What he described sounded *exactly* like what was in the video up there.

  5. Hi,

    So I got that it doesn’t take very long for the mating ritual but I did not see where the question was answered if their talons hurt each other. It looks painful for the female.

    Thank you

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