Bald eagle lays egg at Carillon Historical Park


Willa, a bald eagle was sitting very low in her nest at Carillon Historical Park.

Orv, the male bald eagle flew up to the nest with a fish in his mouth. It wasn’t too long before Willa took off, and Orv settled low in the nest.

“What we just saw was conformation,” Jim Weller said. “She immediately got up and flew off the nest and he immediately got down into the nest, so that’s confirmation that there is an egg in there.”

Jim Weller started looking up at the sky hoping to see a bald eagle when he was five years old, but there wasn’t any in Dayton for 70 years.

In 2008, the first pair returned to the area and started nesting in Eastwood.

“So it means a lot to have them come back, and the population is coming back so strong that even smaller bodies of water farm ponds and creeks are picking up eagle activity,” Weller said. “If there’s fish there they’re going to be hunting for it.”

In 2018, a pair of eagles started building a nest in the trees above Wright Hall at Carillon Historical Park. The eagles, Orv and Willa were named after Orville and Wilbur Wright. Weller has taken picture ever since they moved in. He also blogs about the bald eagles.

“My job here at Carillon is to just share about the eagles,” Weller said.

He also wrote a children’s book called Orv and Willa Find a Home.

“I’m hoping that either through my interaction with people in the park or through the book, or whatever, that children will step away from the computer screen and step outside the window screen and actually see what’s going on here in the park,” Weller said. “Come and watch these eagles and catch the bug that I’ve had my whole life.”

Weller says Willa will likely lay another egg in the next two days.

“Anytime anyone comes Carillon over the next 35 days of incubation the eagles will be here in the park clearly visible in and out of the nest,” Weller said.

Orv and Willa will be actively taking turns leaving the nest to hunt.

“Then it will take another 10 weeks for the eagles to grow to be full size,” Weller said. “Another 2 weeks after that they will fly from the nest. From now to about the end of June if you’ve never seen a wild bald eagle, you’ve got to see a wild bald eagle.”

There is a plastic bag hanging on the tree above the nest.

“One of the things that our eagles have that a lot of wild eagles don’t have is they’re in an urban development, so there’s a lot of threats that exist here that don’t exist say off in the woods some place away from the city,” Weller said.

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