What Are All the Noises That Bald Eagles Make at Night?

This large, majestic bird has a high-pitched voice.
This large, majestic bird has a high-pitched voice. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Despite the fierce reputation that the bald eagle richly deserves, this amazing raptor does not have a very loud or frightening voice. According to some experts, Hollywood directors call on the sounds made by other raptors, such as red-tailed hawks, to suggest the kind of attack warning that viewers expect from the eagle. While the bald eagle was once endangered to the point of near-extinction, it was removed from the list of threatened animals in 2006.

Nest Sounds

Of all the collections of bald eagle sounds, the Hancock Wildlife Organization has a well-organized set of recordings of eagle voices, all of which were recorded of a particular nesting pair over a period of time. Ordinary activities, such as trading places between the male and female and feeding the eaglets, are characterized with high-pitched peeping and chirping, sometimes approaching chattering, not unlike other birds.

Warning Signals

Sounds intended to warn a single nearby woodpecker and more sounds warning of the approach of a flock of Canada geese are clearly different from the domestic warbling of the nest. When intruders appear, the extended, rising pitch of the eagle's cry carries a clear message of alarm as well as warning.

Battle Sounds

While not normally expected to take place during night time hours, a territorial dispute may arise between eagles or between nesting eagle couples. These conflicts would be marked with sounds that might be called screeching or squawking, a series of calls of descending pitch and increasing volume.

Nocturnal Noises

Since bald eagles are not generally considered nocturnal, their night time sounds are limited unless they are disturbed. In many locations, however, they are actively feeding at dusk and dawn and could be observed at those times sitting silently overlooking lakes and rivers.

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