A Closer Look at Our Nest

As I posted the other day, I spent Wednesday in the wellfield with several Dayton Power and Light crews. While I was there, I gave Jim and Cindy’s aerie a rather thorough inspection. The report is not very rosy.

We had visited the area the day after the late June windstorm and had found the top half of the nest missing and the rather stunned eaglets perched in broken trees nearby. But I was unprepared for what I found on Wednesday. From a viewing point that I have visited many times before, I was unable to see the nest through the leaves of their large sycamore tree. Since we are between nesting seasons and there were many work crews in the area but no eagles, I was able to get under the tree and look straight up at what remains of the nest. I was shocked by how little of it is left. It is now little more than a large heron nest. It is apparent that other heavy winds this summer has added to ts destruction. This concerns me. Bald Eagles typically maintain up to three different nests within their territory. They eventually begin centering their attention on a single nest, aggressively adding to its size in the weeks prior to nest laying. Jim and Cindy have always worked on three nests but the other two locations are more remote. They have been successful at fledging eaglets from this nest each of the past two years and rebuilding and adding to their nest is an annual event. We will soon see where they will focus their nest-building activities for the 2013 nesting season.

While I was under the nest tree I also scouted around for hints to their diet. There had been some mowing nearby but I found bits and pieces of fish bones, a duck bill and multiple turtle shells. This came as no surprise as we have often photographed Jim and Cindy carrying the same assortment of animals home for dinner. What goes in must come out, which explains the dry splash of whitewash that I discovered as well.

Jim and Cindy are definitely in courting mode and are fishing Huffman Lake daily. I will post more on the love birds soon.

Published in: on September 10, 2012 at 3:00 am  Comments (4)  

4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Pictures are great. You are right, not a rosy picture. I wish they would rebuild but maybe we will all be disappointed to find out they go to one of the other nests. I guess what is meant to be will be. Just such a disappointment. This piece was as always so well written and I loved the line ‘rather stunned eaglets perched nearby in broken trees.’

  2. Thank you. We should all know within the next few weeks where they are building. It may be a while though before they start concentrating on a particular site. With the money and materials (cameras, cabling, electrical, etc.) invested, I sure hope that they rebuild in the same location! With kind forethought, the Water Department crews have left several piles of fallen limbs not far from the nesting area to assist their rebuilding efforts.

  3. You mentioned that Jim and Cindy will build 3 nests and then decide on the main one. Were the other nests as large as the one destroyed by the winds? And you also said the other nests were more remote. Does that mean a camera for viewing the nest would be a problem? And I would imagine their abundance of food would be a factor also. Thank you for taking the time to write and let those of us who are equally in love with these eagles know they are safe.

  4. Good questions Polly. Let me be a bit more specific. All three nests are in the wellfield. The 2012 nest dwarfed the others in size prior to suffering major damage during the windstorms. The second nest is closer to Harshman Road but deeper into a grove of trees making it less viewable. The third nest is farther back in the wellfield and therefore less accessable for public viewing. Relocating the cameras and the associated cables would be costly. Installing new poles to support the cabling and cameras would also be necessary. You are correct about the food. With all wildlife, food supply is the biggest factor in claiming a territory. Jim and Cindy fish all of the ponds and lakes within the wellfield, Huffman and Eastwood lakes, as well as the Mad and Great Miami rivers. Incidently, I am not sure how well the other two nests have weathered the storms.

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