Baby bald eagles attract bird watchers to Carillon Historical Park

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The bald eagles at Carillon Historical Park have another set of babies. The eagle expert at the park, Jim Weller said the eaglets emerged from their eggs the last week of March.  

Now photographers and eagle watchers are noticing more activity in the nest.  

“What we’re going to see here is the activity really pick up as the babies get a little bigger and demand more food,” Weller said. “So, if you want to get a good look at wild bald eagles inside the park is the best place to do that.” 

Weller can usually be found outside the John W. Berry, SR. Wright Brothers National Museum photographing the eagles. 

“I saw him take the first stick in there on January 31st of 2018 so yeah I’ve covered this story as much as I can,” Weller said.  

The park named the pair Orv and Willa after Orville and Wilbur Wright. Weller enjoys answering any questions and pointing the eagles out to anyone visiting the park.  

“That’s the male, he’s got about a six and a half foot wingspan and the female has got about a seven-foot wingspan,” Weller said.  

Weller has thousands of photos he’s taken of the pair over the last three years. He has shared many of them on the Eastwood Eagle Watchers Blog.   

“It’s thrilling to see them do something,” Weller said. “My favorite picture, of the ones I’ve taken, is where she landed in a tree right next to him and she leaned over and whispered in his ear. I call that The Whisper. I think she said that we’re going to have babies, she was getting ready to lay her eggs because his eyes got really big all of the sudden.” 

Weller said the best place to see how the eagles interact with each other is inside Carillon Park. He also said it’s one of the safest places to view the birds.  

“The Eagles here are very acclimated to human activity,” Weller said.  

Orv and Willa chose to build their nest in a public place.  

“We’re going to see that more often as the eagle population continues to rebound in a miraculous way,” Weller said.  

Interest in eagles continues to grow as the population returns to the Miami Valley. Weller said more eagles will begin to build nests in populated areas, but their space still needs to be respected.  

“There are eagles nests in the area that have failed because of human activity being too close to the nest and the eggs being exposed to cold weather as adults have been disturbed,” Weller said. “Those are real threats that we composed unknowingly just by being curious.” 

Bald eagle nests are protected according to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. The Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act prevents anyone from disturbing a bald eagle and could result in a fine of up to $5,000 for the first conviction. 

“If you were approaching a nest out in the middle of nowhere along a riverbank somewhere or along a farmer’s field your presence being near the nest could be stressful for the Eagles,” Weller said. “Because you are out of place in that setting and not only that it’s potentially a federal crime. There’s a fine attached to disturbing eagles or stressing eagles in any way.” 

Drones are also prohibited in the park.  

“The problem is that that drone can be seen by the eagle as a threat coming towards the nest especially now that there are babies in the nest and we don’t want to see the feet of the eagle getting tangled up in propellers,” Weller said. “That could be devastating for the drone end eagle.” 

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