Skip to comments.Bald Eagles Nest in San Mateo County, But No Chicks This Year
Posted on 04/28/2012 6:53:44 PM PDT by nickcarraway
Used to be, you had to take one of those Alaskan cruises to be sure of sighting an American bald eagle in the wild, but thanks to vigorous conservation efforts, which have removed the eagle from the Endangered Species List, such sightings are more common now in the Lower 48. Birders, and many other fans of our national symbol, flocked to San Mateo County to watch these impressive birds do something they hadnt done there in almost 100 years: build a nest.
The last recorded bald eagle next in the county was in La Honda back in 1915. But this past March, birder George Chrisman of Burlingame saw two eagles in a fir tree on the west side of the Crystal Springs Reservoir. He said he saw one of the birds take off and return with a big branch a sure sign of nest construction. I waited them out to see where they were building the nest.
Chrisman spread the word through birding groups, and soon, those eager to see the eagles turned out in droves at a reservoir overlook staffed by Sequoia Audubon Society volunteers with spotting scopes. The site, just off Highway 280 in Burlingame, was ideal for spectators, who had a clear view of the birds in the nest on the other side of the reservoir.
Not all visitors were hard-core birders. The Gonzalez family made a Sunday trip there from Castro Valley. It was great to see it, said eight-year-old Noah Gonzalez after peering through a spotting scope to see an eagle. Ive never seen one before in my life.
For about five weeks, there was always one eagle on the nest, and it looked like a hatching was imminent. But then a day came when no eagles were visible, then another day, then another. The adult birds had apparently abandoned the nest. It fell to Sequoia Audubon President Jennifer Rycenga and other volunteers to break the news to visitors. Its disappointing, she told them, but not that uncommon. The experts chalked it up to inexperience on the part of the eagle couple making their first home, especially the young female.
Good news, though. Even with a nest failure, its very likely the birds will return next spring. Catherine Phillips, who came down to the viewing site from San Francisco, observed, Eagles mate for life, and they return to the same nest year after year in their migratory pattern, so its just a matter of time before theyre back here.
Those in the Bay Area who dont want to wait for a bald eagle encounter can get one if they venture farther afield. A bald eagle pair has returned for several years to a nest atop a PG&E transmission tower at the Calaveras Reservoir northeast of Milpitas.
That's how successful efforts to save this bird have been in the DC suburbs.
Our nesting pair has been here for 3 years. They were adding to their nest all along and then they and several other pairs abandoned this part of the county and moved about 5 miles Northwest to a large public park.
While here they killed all the small wild animals, ate all the small dogs, killed most of the birds ~ and left little teeny tiny eaglet down feathers all over the place.
You can mow 'em but you can't collect them. The nest has to be left alone as well unless a storm knocks it down. If you've seen an eagle's nest in an urban area you'd know they are made mostly of sawn wood taken from fences ~ and are well woven together with smaller branches from supple bushes.
That nest is still there. I"m hoping for an owl!
My mockingbirds are back ~ they make noise like a chainsaw this year ~ curious about where they last nested.
I was standing in front of my house and a beautiful bald eagle flew out of a tree two houses down. It was a moment in time for me. I know I stood there with my eyes bugged out, then I started to cry. It was emotional. Extremely magical.
They are being sighted all over Indiana. They have come home at last.
I’ve been telling people to warch their pets, especially the small ones.
Of course they can't get any chicks, they're bald! (nailed it, haha)
I remember sitting on the front porch at dusk listening to the whippoorwills.
OT; Reminds me for all those who kept tabs on Phoebe Allen, the hummingbird, last summer she is sitting on yet another batch of eggs.
The bald eagles would fish right along side our boat. They spot a fish near the surface and slapped their wings down on the water, Dad said to stun the fish and then can snag it with the talons. Only successful about one out of 4 tries. Then they take off and shake the water out of their wings about 10 feet off the surface, shake side to side like a wet dog. Drop a little in altitude and then continue to climb.
If we had caught a fish too small, we would throw it back. It was usually alive and exhausted so it hovered just below the surface. The eagles thought we were feeding them. Happy meals for the eaglets.
I don’t want to start anything, especially as my comment that I hope we can all get behind the noninee (if he gets it of course) .... that comment seems to be NOT winning any popularity contests...ha!...ok.... understood..... SO... here is another unwise posting I guess....
The story says,... “The experts chalked it up to inexperience on the part of the eagle couple making their first home, especially the young female.” Well, I’m not an eagle mating expert.... not even a human mating expert for that matter, alas...but... wouldn’t it seem at least as likely that the (presumably) young MALE eagle might have had something do with the resulting empty nest? Uh oh! I can hear the posse coming.... I’m in trouble! Gotta RUN!!!>>>> BYE!
I had one that nested in a tree in my front yard for years and did that also.
Here is a fascinating and humorous video of the Australian Lyre bird which can reproduce sounds with perfection.
LOL! That’s pretty much what I was was thinking while reading the story!!!
There have been a couple nesting pairs along I-69 just inside Michigan border.
They are beautiful and amazing. It’s exciting.
It’s probably because the tax rates in California are too high.
Come on down we’ve got a nest right next to the interstate and refinery. I guess we have quieter and more flavorful air.
Big deal, see them flying over my house all the time. Dirty little secret is they were never endangered just like the Spotted Owl. Just more agenda driven science.
Pray for America
” big deal , see them ...all the time”
As long as we’re talking birds here my Purple Martins are back. Have 4 houses in the corners around my house. Martins always return in mid-March. My wife and I love sitting in the evening listening to their chatter. Plus, they put on a fantastic aerial display. Better than the Tunderbirds and Blue Angels combined.