New Challenges

Well, let me start by apologizing for the delay in announcing that Jim and Cindy are feeding at least one eaglet in The Treetop Palace. And then let me announce Jim and Cindy are feeding at least one eaglet in The Treetop Palace!

The reason for the delay is that I was hoping to share some decent pictures within this posting but the images that I will have to use will illustrate some of the new challenges that we will have to endure for the 2016 nesting season.

We are constantly reminded that Jim and Cindy are truly urban eagles. As I mentioned 2 years ago, the deteriorated Harshman Road bridge over The Mad River was scheduled for demolition and replacement. Then last year I announced that the project was beginning in earnest. The finished bridge will be better able to meet the current traffic demands on the roadway and provide two much-needed new features as well. It will have sidewalks and a left turn lane for vehicles trying to enter the Eastwood Lake MetroPark. That project is the source of our temporary challenges, and here are the previously mentioned illustrative images.

This is one of the massive concrete beams being delivered to the job site.


This image shows the actual construction area.


Jim and Cindy’s nest tree is about 1/4 mile to the east (left) of this bridge. You can see the line of semi trailers still carrying the massive beams lined up on the hillside in the background (The National Museum of The United States Air Force is just over that hill.) and the rusted bridge railing and the damaged concrete deck of the old bridge is on the right side of this picture. That tiny 2-foot wide broken concrete walk was all that separated pedestrians from the 45 miles per hour traffic and that bridge railing is less than waist-high. Whenever I walked across this bridge I was keenly aware of the 30-foot drop to the river below. The entrance road to Eastwood Lake is just to the right of where I was standing to take the picture and that traffic signal is at the entrance to Eastwood Park. The large crane on the left will work with another crane that is positioned just off the image to set those beams on the recently installed bridge supports. Eventually traffic will be moved to the new bridge while the second half of the old bridge is demolished and replaced. The whole thing will be finished in 2017. Meanwhile stockpiles of materials and trailers for those cranes are stored just north of the project which happens to be the very area from which we view our eagles’ nest. So, for now, we have to view the nest through the parked trailers (You can see it through the gap under the red tool bin.) and through the flowing traffic!


But view it we do! And what we see is a welcomed sight. We see Jim and Cindy taking turns brooding their eaglet(s) and we are just starting to see an uptick in the number of food runs. The babies are now over a week old and we all know that that means they are growing in size and in appetite. For whatever reason (perhaps it is the constant noise and construction) Jim and Cindy are not fishing from Eastwood Lake as frequently as in years past. They are instead relying more heavily on the resources of Eagle Lake on their side of Harshman Road.


Even if we have to contort ourselves to find a window through which to view the 2016 chapter of the adventure and even though the peaceful distant drumming of woodpeckers is being drowned out by the noisy pounding of jackhammers, we are thrilled to watch the story unfolding before us. After all, a few short years ago we had no eagles in the area to watch. So just like Jim and Cindy, we will find a way to do what must be done when we are confronted with new challenges.

Published in: on April 7, 2016 at 1:14 am  Comments (18)  

18 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I’m so glad to hear from you Jim. Been wondering about Jim &Cindy’s Spring Season. I’m happy it’s looking good. Thanks for your post. I really do appreciate them. Diane

  2. What a nightmare that must be. Can’t believe Jim and Cindy just go about their business of raising eaglet(s) as if nothing is going on around them!! Both you and they are very persistent in completing your missions, thank goodness.

  3. Thank you Jim, it surely has been a challenge !!!

  4. Forever undaunted!

  5. Thanks Jim, at least we know that one baby is in the nest!!!! And Jim and Cindy have accepted a noisy nursery!!!! Baby eagle will be able to watch all the commotion and appreciate peace and quiet maybe at night or on weekends. Thanks again for your eyes and ears………..Polly.

  6. I hope things go well for for this nest. I am fortunate to be able to watch a nest in my area. This is the first time I’ve been able to observe a nest and I am so excited. Eggs should be hatching very soon here.

  7. Jim,

    Thanks again for this year’s reporting on the eagles.

    All the more so given the special challenges that exist this year.

    Steve Link

  8. Thanks Diane. In hindsight I should have at least announced the arrival(s) last week but it has been kind of crazy out there!

  9. Eagles are amazingly resilient animals Sidney. They are able to overcome most trials and still soar! Our Jim and Cindy have the advantage of a fenced off domain and very protective well field crews as well!

  10. You know the challenges as well as do Roger. They add color to the story of wildlife overcoming trials of an urban environment.

  11. Well said Kay. Forever undaunted and forever blessed.

  12. You make a very good point Polly! Can you imagine finally getting those hungry babies fed and bedded down just as the jackhammers start hammering? Maybe that is why all of the workers wear hardhats. Sleep deprived eagles might try to get their attention.

  13. Enjoy the experience Terry! I am eggcited for you!

  14. Thank you Steve. The bridge construction company is named Eagle Contractors of all things!

  15. Hey Jim , maybe we should try to get a camera put on the nest like they have in Washington DC How cool would it be to watch our Eagles up close . If everyone that watches the Eagles put in $10.00 I think we could have one for Jim and Cindy. Not sure how to go about this it would be cool to watch our Eagles up close .. What do you think? Here’s The DC Eagles page On Wednesday, April 6, 2016, Eastwood Eagle Watchers wrote:

    > eaglejim posted: “Well, let me start by apologizing for the delay in > announcing that Jim and Cindy are feeding at least one eaglet in The > Treetop Palace. And then let me announce Jim and Cindy are feeding at least > one eaglet in The Treetop Palace! The reason for the delay” >

  16. Hi Jim! I wanted to tell you about my recent eagle sightings! Yesterday morning I was outside in my yard when I spotted four large birds in the sky– two juvenile eagles and a pair of ospreys. The ospreys have a nest nearby so they were trying to ward off the intruders! We live by a group of quarry lakes that are apparently a popular fishing spot for them all. A couple days ago I was riding home in the car with my family when we saw an adult bald eagle soaring high above the lakes. It had apparently caught an extremely strong wind current because it was going so fast that we had trouble tracking it! “It’s over here!” “It flew over there!” “Now it’s over here!” 🙂 Today I was driving south on route 4 and before I passed Eagle lake I saw three eagles, I think. The one that I could see the best seemed to have a white head and tail. The other two I couldn’t tell, but maybe juveniles because then I saw a fourth eagle directly above the nest. Anyway, I thought you might want to know! Eagles sure are special. 🙂

    Melody On Apr 6, 2016 9:15 PM, “Eastwood Eagle Watchers” wrote:

    > eaglejim posted: “Well, let me start by apologizing for the delay in > announcing that Jim and Cindy are feeding at least one eaglet in The > Treetop Palace. And then let me announce Jim and Cindy are feeding at least > one eaglet in The Treetop Palace! The reason for the delay” >

  17. Hi Saundra! Thanks for the comment. We had a live online video feed of our nest for a few years through a partnership with The Boonshoft Museum of Discovery, our local children’s museum, but that project fell through when the bill for the internet feed went up $30,000! Boonshoft has since moved on to other projects. As you probably know the DC nest is monitored by The American Eagle Foundation in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. They are aware of our nest and in February of 2015 Al Cecere called me and we discussed the possibility of AEF putting cameras on our nest. There were a few issues that prevented our nest from being chosen for their cameras. Federal law requires that the cameras be at least a 45 degree angle form the vertical center of the nest and our nest tree made that difficult. Also the nest is in The City of Dayton Mad River Well Field, a drinking water recharge facility, so there are some security and environmental concerns for any activity near the tree. AEF decided to go with the DC nest in the National Arboretum and they are doing a wonderful job monitoring that nest! If the opportunity arises to reestablish video coverage of our nest we will let you know.

  18. Hi Melody! Wow! I have to ask where it is that you live! I am aware of the Osprey nest in the Moraine/West Carrollton area and I know our eagles fish the quarry lakes north of 235 in the Fairborn area and I believe that there is eagle activity on the quarry lakes just west of Xenia but I have to admit that the last time that I saw 4 or more eagle together was back in 2014. I am always interested in finding new viewing places so please let me know where you are seeing this activity. Thank you for sharing your sightings.

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