The Bald Eagle “Daredevil Cartwheel” Is One Of Nature’s Wildest Mating Rituals

Bald eagle

Enough with the endless swiping, editing your profile to include that new hobby you started today, and wondering if any of the matches you get are going to turn into anything. There’s a new way to date, but it’s not for the faint of heart.

It involves flying high into the air with a potential mate, locking talons, then death spiraling downward, only to stop just feet above the ground and powering upward to do it again, potentially for hours.

It’s called the ‘Daredevil Cartwheel’ and there’s only one catch…

You have to be a bald eagle.

If this sounds like something you may be interested in, read on for some insider details on where you may be able to find a free-falling future partner.

You’re in luck if you happen to be looking for a bald eagle mate in the lower 48 states or Alaska, as this raptor’s territory stretches all across the country. Alaska has the highest population with around 30,000 or so, but Florida, Minnesota, Virginia, and Wisconsin all have populations in the thousands as well. That’s not to say you can’t find a life-partner in one of the other states, it just may be a bit harder.

Regardless of which state you look in, you’re going to want to stay by bodies of water, preferably big lakes or rivers. Ones with surrounding forests deserve extra attention, as the trees provide great shelter for building nests and the higher fish population is useful to find enough food to survive.

Speaking of diet, of course you can focus on fish, but don’t shy away from small mammals, such as rabbits, squirrels, muskrats, prairie dogs, and even other birds like ducks, geese, and young osprey. If you can nab a frog or two, that can be a special treat, and crustaceans make for a fine meal if you find yourself near saltwater.

Fortunately, you won’t have to worry about predators as you’ll be able to fly up to 10,000 feet in the sky to escape any attacks, but keep an eye out for territorial bald eagles who don’t like new blood encroaching on their territory.

Once you find the perfect spot and eye up a potential mate, it’s time for the ‘Daredevils Cartwheel’.

Catch the other eagle’s eye and give them a nod to let them know you’re game, then take off for the sky. If they are interested, they will join you and that’s when the fun begins.

Once you reach a high altitude, approach them with your talons out and open. Don’t be too threatening, though, as they may think you’re on the attack and fly away or fight back. If they reciprocate the open and out talons, interlace those feet, spread your wings, and let gravity and air flow do its thing. You should be spinning while falling to the earth, adjust your wings accordingly to make this happen.

You’re going to want to get as close to the ground as possible to show your mate you’re not some scared bird like those egrets, but be sure to leave enough time to unlatch talons and begin flying once again. Crashing into the ground will leave you injured at best and perhaps kill you or your partner.

After the first dive is complete, fly skyward once again and join your partner for another round. Complete this as many times as they like, at which point they should be more than happy to accept you as their one and only mate for the rest of their lives.

Congratulations, you’re getting married!

While it’s only the first step in a successful life, it’s a big one. There may be many days of hunting, building enormous nests, and fighting off invaders in your future, but it’s your calling, so give it your all and many happy days of soaring majestically through the sky will be yours.

If you need an example of what the ‘Daredevil Cartwheel’ should look like, here you go. This shot was taken at Conowingo Dam in Maryland by wildlife photographer Tohid Azimi.

Good luck!

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock