• Tue. Nov 24th, 2020

North Orange County bald eagle family among several in area

ByArlene Huff

Apr 20, 2020
north-orange-county-bald-eagle-family-among-several-in-area

The bald eagle is one bird that nearly everyone can identify. Just reach into your pocket and pull out a quarter.

But seeing one in real life?

It might not be as uncommon these days as one would think. Though, it does take a little research to find where they live here in Orange County, as well as other parts of Southern California.

  • As the morning sun rises, a bald eagle sits on a branch high overlooking the scenery in north Orange County. Two juvenile eagles are in a nest just below. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A bald eagle takes flight from a branch high in a tree not far from its nest in north Orange County. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Sound
    The gallery will resume inseconds
  • With two juvenile bald eagles in the nest high below, a parent sits on an upper branch nearby in north Orange County. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A bald eagle preens its feathers as it sits on a branch high in a tree not far from its nest containing two juvenile eagles in north Orange County. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Two parent bald eagles appear to be communicating with each other as they both stand in the nest high in a tree in north Orange County with their two juvenile eagles close by. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A bald eagle with blue wing tags with the number 85 on them, flaps its wings as it stands on a branch above its nest in north Orange County. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A parent bald eagle stands in the nest high in a tree in north Orange County between two juvenile eagles that have not fledged. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Two juvenile bald eagles not yet fledged stand in their nest high in a tree in north Orange County. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A juvenile bald eagle jumps up and down in the nest as it flaps its wings while a parent sits on a high branch above in north Orange County. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • With its wings out-stretched for a landing, a parent bald eagle returns to the nest in a tree in north Orange County with two juvenile eagles still in the nest. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A crow passes close by as a bald eagle turns to watch as it sits on a branch high in a tree not far from its nest in north Orange County. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • As the morning sun rises, a bald eagle sits on a branch high in a tree not far from its nest in north Orange County containing two juvenile eagles. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

of

Expand

According to Dr. Peter Sharpe, of the Institute for Wildlife Studies, there are about 100 bald eagles living in Southern California and 60 on the Channel Islands, where the institute has a program that was founded in the 1980s for rebuilding the population.

It took years before the birds started making their way back to the mainland.

“I don’t think there were any nesting on mainland Southern California in 1997,” Sharpe said. “Through our reintroduction efforts, there are now about 20 pairs breeding on the Channel Islands and birds from the islands are breeding in two to three locations on mainland Southern California.”

Banning the use of the industrial pesticide DDT, restoration projects and the creation of reservoirs with fish have gone a long way in helping the birds thrive again around the region, he said.  “The man-made reservoirs have created habitat for them where they historically wouldn’t have nested.”

Though the bald eagle is no longer an endangered species, it is still protected by various federal laws.

On a foggy spring morning in north Orange County, a family of the birds was spotted.

(Editor’s note: We decided not to disclose the location of the nest so the bald eagles would not be disturbed.)

The juvenile bald eagles jumped up and down as they tested their wings high in a nest in a tree while one of the parents perched on a nearby branch, preening its feathers.

After a couple of hours, the other parent returned – it’s large wingspan clearly set it apart from other birds in the sky.

A large fish hung from its talons, a bit of lunch for the youngsters.

Watch some bald eagles in the wild on these webcams:

Big Bear: bloom.bio/news/2018/3/29/bald-eagle-banding-at-big-bear-lake

Big Bear: linktv.org/environment/live-cam-big-bear-bald-eagle-nest

Decorah, Iowa: raptorresource.org/birdcams/decorah-eagles/

###

Arlene Huff

Arlene Huff is the founding member of Golden State Online. Before that She was a general assignment reporter. A native Californian, she graduated from the University of California with a degree in medical anthropology and global health. She currently lives in Los Angeles.

Related Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *