Bald Eagle Update

Several months ago, I wrote about a pair of bald eagles that was building a nest not far from where I live. Because it is nearby, wildlife biologists from the Department of Environmental Conservation asked if I would monitor the nest and keep them apprised of activity there and I enthusiastically replied that I would. And so, I have been keeping an eye on the site every couple of days and watching as the eagles go about their daily routine.

I became especially concerned after the first of two successive windstorms blew through the Finger Lakes Region on the first day of March. Remembering that an eagle nest in Wayland, which had been established there for nine years, blew down last September, I went to check on the new nest and found that it was still intact and occupied. It looked to me like the female might even be incubating. Bald eagles normally lay their eggs in late winter.

Then, the following Wednesday, a more-furious windstorm blew through the region once again, this time leaving thousands of people in a half-dozen counties without heat and power for days. A follow-up check on the eagles’ nest the next morning revealed that the nest remained intact and was still occupied, and convinced me that the female was indeed incubating.

I am amazed at—not only the integrity of the bald eagle’s construction abilities, which withstood winds that exceeded 70 mph—but by the great bird’s tenacity as well. Despite a stiff wind that continued to rock the tree that the nest is built in, the incubating eagle stayed on task. To watch how attentive and dedicated bald eagles are under adverse conditions, see the live feed from this link: http://www.dceaglecam.org/.

Even as I write this piece, we are under a winter storm warning that predicts a significant amount of snowfall. So far, no heavy snow has materialized but that is subject to change. In a period of less than two weeks, this pair of nesting bald eagles has endured two furious windstorms and is now potentially facing yet another test of its endurance. I will continue to monitor this nest and provide periodic updates.


Story and photo by John Adamski