A History Of Eagle Nesting At CRC

No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings. – William Blake

Ten Years of Eagles at Carolina Raptor Center

2006 Nesting Season – Len and Lola

Two eggs were laid on our around January 27 in current nest site. First egg hatched on March 2 and second on March 3. The young were named “Len” and “Lola” after two long-time volunteers who had recently passed away. The two eaglets were released in May. Thanks to the technology of solar-powered satellite transmitters we are able to follow these two eagles to this day.

2007 Nesting Season

Savannah began sitting on the nest (at least 2 eggs) on January 19. At this time, the nest was on the ground in a natural depression, barely lined with materials. Two chicks hatched February 22 and 23. On March 2, heavy rains fell overnight and in the morning both chicks were found deceased. This experience resulted in a nest renovation to get off of the ground and improve drainage.

2008 Nesting Season - Letha

The birds chose to nest on the ground in the same location in which they successfully raised two young (Lola and Len) in 2006. CRC staff added a minimal amount of pine needles and mulch early on during incubation so as not to change the appearance of the nest.The first egg was laid on January 28, the second on January 31. The first eaglet hatched sometime late in the day on Friday, March 7 and the second eaglet hatched late in the day on Saturday, March 8. At first both young appeared to be doing well in nest together. However, by March 12, the second eaglet had disappeared. It is assumed that the parents disposed of the remains. In mid-March a new six-feet square nest was constructed and the eaglet placed in it in the same location as old nest. Regular checks were made on the remaining eaglet. "Letha" was released on May 16.

2009 Nesting Season

In 2009, two eggs were laid on or around January 25. On March 6, the first egg was eaten by Savannah. CRC staff examined the second egg on March 9 through a process called “candling” and it was determined that it had also not developed. The egg was placed back in the nest. Savannah continued to sit on the egg through March 20, when it was determined that the egg was gone. The nest was modified after the 2009 nesting season and a second platform installed on top of existing nest, with insulating material between the two layers.

2010 Nesting Season - Noah

Three eggs were laid in 2010 – the first on January 4, the second on the 7th and the third appeared (a surprise!) on January 10. One of the eggs disappeared on February 8. The first eaglet hatched in the morning on February 12. The second egg hatched later in that same day, but the eaglet was not observed moving. On February 15, there was no sign of a second eaglet; it was assumed that the parents disposed of the body. The eaglet “Noah” was moved to the hack tower on March 27 accompanied by Marine Noah Pier’s family. The hack tower doors were opened in early May.

2011 Nesting Season - Kinsey

The first egg was laid on January 26. Because the nest pocket was so deep, it was difficult to determine when the second egg was laid and almost impossible to see from any angle. Two eaglets hatched, however, one on March 4 and one on March 6. Both eaglets survived for a long period of time, making CRC staff believe that we might have two eaglets to release in May. However, the second eaglet was found dead in the nest and removed when staff went to feed the eaglets on March 31. Kinsey was moved to the hack tower on April 21 with two orphaned eaglets that were about the same age. After the doors were opened on May 12, the birds spent another three weeks in and out of the tower before the last sighting on June 8.

2012 Nesting Season - Carolina

The first egg was laid on Wednesday, January 18 at about 2 pm. The EagleCam recorded the event and immediately pushed video out for CRC's eagle watchers to enjoy. A second egg was spotted on Sunday, January 22. One eaglet hatched on February 25, about 5 pm. The second egg was confirmed unviable about a week later. The eaglet "Carolina" was moved to the hack tower on Monday April 9. Photos of the move are included here from WCNC's website. Doors were opened on May 3, 2012. Carolina was named through a Facebook poll of the fans of the Host Committee of the Democratic National Convention, held in Charlotte in September 2012.

2013 Nesting Season

The first egg was laid on Tuesday, January 1, 2013, bringing in the new year with a pleasant surprise. The second egg was laid on Friday, January 4 and a (surprise!) third egg was laid on Tuesday, January 8. Savannah and Derek carefully incubated the eggs for the next 30 days. Derek disposed of one of the eggs on February 3. Of the two remaining eggs, one hatched on Saturday, February 9. Overnight on Wednesday, March 6, a predator entered the aviary and killed the almost 4 week old eaglet.

2014 Nesting Season

Two eggs were laid in early January. Derek crushed one hopping around the nest one day and the other was not viable. Unlucky year for eagle eggs.

2015 Nesting Season

The first egg was laid on December 4, 2014, a full month before the earliest date the pair had ever laid eggs and six weeks before average laying season for this pair. Three eggs were laid. The eggs did not hatch and upon examination it was determined that they were not viable.

2016 Nesting Season

The first egg was laid on December 15, 2015, splitting the difference between the two prior years. Three eggs were laid in the first clutch -- none were viable. A second clutch appeared in late February and is expected to be non-viable as well. Eagle keepers have not observed copulation among the pair in the past few years. Alternatives to natural fertilization are being explored with US Fish and Wildlife for future years.

Meet the eaglets that have been released. More info.

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