The Nation’s Bald Eagle Capital

Quck answer

The nation’s bald eagle capital is Haines, Alaska. Haines is located in Southeast Alaska and is known for its large population of bald eagles. Every year, thousands of these majestic birds gather in Haines to feed on the abundant salmon in the Chilkat River. This unique habitat has earned Haines the title of the nation’s bald eagle capital. The town even hosts an annual Bald Eagle Festival to celebrate these iconic birds and educate visitors about their importance in the ecosystem. If you want to witness the beauty of bald eagles in their natural habitat, Haines is the place to be.

What do you think is the most American thing? How about imagining Abraham Lincoln and George Washington flying around the Statue of Liberty on the backs of bald eagles? And what if they were also waving copies of the Declaration of Independence?

That would be quite a sight! However, many would argue that the most inspiring thing of all is the mighty bald eagle. With its large wingspan and sharp talons, the bald eagle represents strength. It’s no surprise that it is the national bird of the United States!

Bald eagles were once in danger of extinction. This only added to their mystique and the impact they have as a symbol. However, today the population of bald eagles has increased so much that they are no longer endangered.

Although bald eagles are still a rare sight, you won’t just see one flying outside your window in most parts of the United States. Instead, you might see groups of pigeons, blackbirds, or cardinals. Unless you live in the bald eagle capital of the U.S.

Which city in the U.S. do you think is the nation’s bald eagle capital? Washington, D.C.? Philadelphia? Maybe Boston? These cities all have significant roles in U.S. history. However, the nation’s bald eagle capital is a place you might not expect. It’s a city called Unalaska, Alaska.

Unalaska, located off the coast of mainland Alaska, is home to less than 5,000 people. Unalaska Island is almost 80 miles long, but most of the population resides in a small area. They share this area with around 600 bald eagles. It sounds like it could get quite crowded!

So why do so many bald eagles flock to Unalaska? The answer is simple: food. Wouldn’t you also move to live near your favorite food? Bald eagles love fish, and fish makes up the majority of their diet. Unalaska is situated right next to Dutch Harbor, which is one of the largest fishing ports in the world. As boats come into the harbor, bald eagles gather around them. The eagles try to snatch as many fish as they can before the crew members shoo them away.

Bald eagles prefer to build their nests close to their food source. Usually, they nest in trees, but Unalaska has very few trees. Instead, they build their nests on top of tall cliffs or in man-made structures.

Since bald eagles are territorial, their nesting habits pose problems for the residents of Unalaska. According to experts, people are more likely to be attacked by a bald eagle in Unalaska than anywhere else. Every year, a dozen or more people end up in the hospital with injuries caused by eagle talons.

Similar to pigeons in large cities, bald eagles are considered pests by many residents of Unalaska. They rummage through their trash and even attack their livestock. However, they are still the national bird, and as a result, the residents of Unalaska have respect for them despite the challenges they pose.

Would you like to visit Unalaska? Have you ever seen a bald eagle in person? Often, you can go as far as the nearest zoo to have an experience with bald eagles. Wherever you see this symbol of America, remember to keep your distance!

Give It a Try

Are you ready to soar with the eagles? Ask a friend or family member to help you explore the following activities:

  • Have you ever seen anything more magnificent than a bald eagle soaring through the sky? Take a look at the National Geographic website and explore the collection of stunning pictures of bald eagles in the article titled “Endangered No Longer: Our Favorite Pictures of Bald Eagles”. Can you choose a favorite? Write a paragraph describing the picture you find most captivating and explain why it appeals to you.
  • While the bald eagle may be the king of Unalaska, the state bird of Alaska is actually the willow ptarmigan. Based on the information you have read, how is the willow ptarmigan similar to or different from the bald eagle? Share these similarities and differences with a friend, highlighting the unique characteristics of each bird.
  • What types of birds can be found in your local area? Step outside or visit a nearby park with a friend or family member. Keep a record of the different bird species you encounter. If you come across any unfamiliar birds, make note of their appearance and conduct some research later to identify them!

Sources of Wonder

  • (subscription required as of March 27, 2019)
  • (accessed on March 27, 2019)
  • (accessed on April 3, 2019)


1. Where is the nation’s Bald Eagle capital?

The nation’s Bald Eagle capital is Haines, Alaska.

2. Why is Haines, Alaska known as the nation’s Bald Eagle capital?

Haines, Alaska is known as the nation’s Bald Eagle capital because it is home to one of the largest gatherings of Bald Eagles in the world. Every year, hundreds of eagles migrate to Haines to feed on the salmon that spawn in the nearby Chilkat River.

3. When is the best time to visit Haines to see Bald Eagles?

The best time to visit Haines to see Bald Eagles is during the months of November to February. This is when the salmon run is at its peak, attracting a large number of eagles to the area.

4. Are there any organized tours or activities to see Bald Eagles in Haines?

Yes, there are organized tours and activities available in Haines to see Bald Eagles. Visitors can take boat tours along the Chilkat River or participate in photography workshops specifically focused on capturing the beauty of the eagles.

5. What are some other attractions in Haines, Alaska?

Aside from being the nation’s Bald Eagle capital, Haines, Alaska is also known for its stunning natural landscapes. Visitors can explore the nearby Chilkoot Lake and Chilkat State Park, go hiking, fishing, or enjoy wildlife viewing. The town itself has a rich history and offers cultural attractions such as museums and art galleries.

6. Can Bald Eagles be seen in other parts of the United States?

Yes, Bald Eagles can be seen in other parts of the United States. They are found throughout North America and can be spotted near bodies of water, especially where fish are abundant. Some popular locations to see Bald Eagles include the Pacific Northwest, the Great Lakes region, and along the Mississippi River.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *