Built another Bald Eagle nest last summer and one of the guys that was there just gave me these pics today.
I used to work as a volunteer with the Colo DOW banding Bald Eagle chicks and building some Osprey and Eagle nests. I don’t band anymore as the program has been over for a few years but when I got a call that they needed a nest built I was more than happy to oblige. Felt kinda good to be back in working with the eagles.
The old nest busted out and the DOW didn’t want the adults to build a new nest somewhere else as the area around it is rather populated. The Balds build their nest in Dec & Jan when few people are out and about. Then later in spring there could be interference with the nesting eagles as people activity grows. So we built a nest right where the old one was.
We use a wire basket tied to a tree and supported by the branches and some 2x4’s. You can see the broken old 2x4 still attached to the tree. Then many bundles of sticks are hauled up in and woven into the basket, and each other, in a circular fashion until a nest begins to form. The nests we build are really small compared ones the eagles build. However the big birds add sticks to the nest as part of their courtship every year and the nests soon grow pretty large.
Bald eagle nests do not have a very deep bowl. This pic shows just how shallow they are.
We put what I call “duff” in the center of the sticks. The “duff” is just bark and leaves and compost you find on a forest floor. It sort of cements the sticks together. The eagles will bring in grass to line the bottom. When it gets hot they bring in wet grass to help cool the little eaglets.
Bald Eagles usually pick a very mature tree for their nest. They like to see a good ways and like a tree that is above most others around the nest. This nest was about 50 or 55 feet up in a big Cottonwood. This pic gives you an idea of the height.
This is a nest built by the eagles over many years. You can see how large it has grown as they have added sticks to it every year. It about 6 feet from top to bottom! It was a real PITA to get into.
Volunteering my time with the Colo DOW gave me back much more than I ever would have imagined. Experiences like the one below are ones I will never forget.
I am the 2nd one from the left…with the sun glasses…the ugly one.