DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – A museum and park showcasing Dayton’s history is welcoming a national icon. Early this year, staff at Carillon Historical Park first spotted a pair on bald eagles hunting near the 65-acre property. Now, the couple is building a nest in a tree above Wright Hall, which houses the world’s first practical airplane built in 1905 by Orville and Wilbur Wright.
The park’s new guests have been attracting photographers and eagle watchers, alike. Jim Weller, a blogger and the co-founder of a community eagle watchers group, was hoping to photograph the raptors Monday morning.
Weller explained eagles returned to the Dayton-area in 2008, after their absence for nearly 70 years. He said the pair nesting at Carillon Historical Park are likely a young couple building a nest for the first time and may not successfully hatch eggs on their first attempt. Weller, an avid photographer, said it takes a lot of patience to catch a glimpse of the birds.
“90 percent of eagle watching is just watching,” Weller laughed.
Leo DeLuca, the media coordinator with Dayton History, said it’s exciting to see the birds bring visitors to the park during the winter months.
“It’s been fun to see people out, with the snow all around and the cold weather, and they’re standing out here waiting to see the eagles,” DeLuca said.
Many staff and visitors commented on the eagles’ choice of nesting location as fitting. The pair is building a nest above the exhibit for the Wright Flyer III, which DeLuca called “an international symbol of flight.”
Weller said he imagined the Wright brothers being inspired by eagles at the turn of the century.
“Eagles inspire everybody,” Weller said. “There’s a good chance Wilbur and Orville were looking out those big windows… looking out over the Great Miami River, watching eagles.”
Carillon Historical Park is open year-round Monday-Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 5:00 p.m.
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