The majestic bald eagle draws the attention of many visitors to Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge (KNWR). At Guidepost 2 on the Auto Tour Road, across Myrtle Creek high up in a cottonwood tree, rests an active bald eagle’s nest. These incredible nests can measure as much as 7 feet across and 10 feet deep, and weigh as much as 2 tons. Bald eagles pair and mate for life. In a large tree near water, 80 to 100 feet high, the pair builds their nest with sticks and lines it with grasses.The female lays one to three eggs from late February to early April. The eggs incubate for 35 days. Then the eaglets, soft and downy gray, emerge from their shells. Fed by their parents, the eaglets grow rapidly until they are ready to take their first flight at 10 weeks of age. Though bald eagles are mainly fish eaters, they also eat waterfowl, mammals, and carrion. Aided by sharp talons and rough bumps under their powerful feet, they pluck fish out of the water and carry them to a safe place for eating. Their eyesight, 8 to 10 times sharper than a human, enables them to spot a rabbit 2 miles away. Immature bald eagles are mostly chocolate brown with patches of white on their body, tail, and underwings. By the time they are four years old, they have their distinctive white head and tail and reach sexual maturity. Like most birds of prey, female bald eagles are larger than males. Adult females weigh as much as 10 to 14 pounds with a wingspan as long as 7 1/2 feet. Both male and female bald eagles live for about 30 years.