Walborn Reservoir Eagle Report
January 12, 2015--2015 marks the tenth year for the Walborn Reservoir nest. Both adult eagles were spotted at the nest together for the first time this year on the morning of January 11. It looks like they have been working to add sticks to the nest.
Entering into the courtship and new breeding season, one eagle flew off and returned twenty minutes later with food. The pair typically begins incubation in late February or early March, the eggs take 35 days to hatch usually the last week of March or first week of April.
Fifteen eagles fledged from this site during the last nine years. We lost the original female in 2013, the new young female came to the nest a few days after the disappearance and successfully paired up with the male. Although too late in the mating season for 2013, the pair produced two young eaglets in 2014.
October 14, 2014--October usually doesn't bring many eagle updates because the young have gone and the adults are in their routine. A little twist this year has been a juvenile eagle hanging around the nest. Our volunteer eagle expert, Jim K., says it could be from this year but he believes it is about three years old and might have been from this nest. (Offspring of the previous female adult eagle and current male adult eagle) We can only speculate where it came from, but seeing three eagles at the site is interesting.
July 21, 2014--The 15-week old juvenile eagles are doing what is expected at this stage in their development; flying around and searching for food. The parents are still helping them with food though.
Last Sunday evening the male adult baited one of the young by dropping a fish into the nest.
As a juvenile was coming in to get it, the female adult picked it up and pulled it across the nest. The juvenile grabbed it and covered it with it’s wings until the mother backed away from it . When the second juvenile came in, it once again covered it to keep it protected. This is a good sign in their development.
I have noticed a lot of activity in the evenings after 6:30 p.m. On my last two visits, I have seen them come in to the nest between 7 and 8 p.m. I will continue to stop by in the evenings on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays as long the juveniles in the area. Bring bug spray if you come out in the evenings to watch!
June 30, 2014--The two young eagles are 12 weeks old and have been doing a lot of wing stretching, hopping, and limb walking. Most young eagles fly between 11 and 13 weeks, so it will happen at any time. We should continue to see them in the area for a few more weeks before they venture out on their own.
Most of the young hang out on the nest tree, but sometimes can be found closer to the water on low branches. A good place to look is in the trees near the power lines if you do not see them in the nest tree.
June 20, 2014--The two juveniles are about 11 weeks old now and have been doing a lot of wing stretching and hopping in the nest. They should start going out on the tree limbs soon and start flying in the next two weeks.
The parents will continue to provide the food, but no longer need to feed it to the juveniles. Later in the summer they will leave the nest. It is common to see young eagles in the western basin of Lake Erie where it is easier to find food. They can also improve their flying and landing skills. A recent news ODNR news release reported 200 eagle nests in Ohio with an estimate of 350 eaglets in 2014.
May 15, 2014--The two young eaglets are about 6 weeks old and doing great, they are about a foot tall and are growing their feathers. They should be hopping and stretching their wings in the nest soon. They should be eating at least one large fish each day to continue growing.
May 9, 2014--The eaglets are five weeks old and enjoying the fish being brought to the nest.
April 28, 2014-- Two eaglets are in the nest and there is a lot of activity around it. A total of 15 eaglets have come out of this nest in the last 8 years. Look for Jim K. there at 6 p.m. on Thursday nights and from 3 to 6 p.m. on Sundays during May.
April 7, 2014-- At least one eaglet has hatched and is being fed, we'll know how many eaglets are in the nest in about two weeks.
March 3, 2014-- Jim emailed, "I am sure that there are eggs in the nest now. On Feb. 27 I saw what looked like an egg turning and then on Saturday the adult eagles traded off and on the nest." Jim is predicting a hatch around April 3.
December 16, 2013-- Volunteer Eagle watcher, Jim K., stopped by the Walborn Reservoir nest site twice today. No sign of them at 9 a.m., but both eagles were perched on the limb around 1 p.m. He expects them to start working on their nest more over the next few weeks and become a little more active.
August 28, 2013-- An established pair of eagles has been observed again at Walborn Reservoir. The pair has bonded with continued activity around the nest site. The new female is on the left and the original male with the brighter white head is on the right. Early evening seems to be best time to see them.
May 10, 2013-- For six of the last seven years, the eagles at Walborn Reservoir have produced chicks—a total of 13 eaglets. In 2013 a new female eagle appeared. There is no way to know what happened to her predecessor, but no eggs were produced at this nest this spring. Consequently, the eagles’ visitation to the nest is sporadic and unpredictable. While you may be lucky enough to see one of them flying around Walborn or Deer Creek Reservoirs, their flight range can be quite large.
In 1979 there were only four Eagle pairs in Ohio. The exact number now is uncertain, but the count was well over 300 nests at the end of 2012. There were 321 known eaglets hatched in Ohio in 2012 from 210 nests that were being monitored. For information on Ohio’s monitoring program, visit the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resource’s Division of Wildlife.
The eaglets at Walborn Reservoir have never been banded by ODNR for safety reasons: the tree on which the nest sits has been struck by lightning several times and may not be stable enough to withstand the weight of humans. It was determined that it was more important to preserve the nest and its babies than it was to band any birds that matured.
Want to learn more about Eagles? www.baldeagleinfo.com
Stark Parks reminds visitors that laws protecting eagles define how close you can get to a nest; do not walk any closer than the wooden Observation Deck that is provided at 13600 Marlboro Avenue NE, Alliance, north of Allen Drive.