The Bald Eagles Have Landed in Alameda, and They’re Constructing a Nest –

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The Bald Eagles Have Landed in Alameda, and They’re Constructing a Nest –
The Bald Eagles Have Landed in Alameda, and They’re Constructing a Nest –


On the time, Rick Lewis was in search of some Virginia rails, together with some 15 birders. It was Dec. 24. Lewis is a affected person man, and his head, he says, was buried in his digital camera. He was within the zone—the elusive waterbird zone. Then his world modified. “Any person mentioned, ‘Hey, there’s a bald eagle!’ ” Lewis turned, doubtful—and noticed an eagle within the distance, towards Alameda and the Fruitvale Bridge.

Just a few days later, on Dec. 29, he went to seek out the nest. Now, this was not Lewis’s first nest-hunting rodeo. He’s been birding for forty years, and is a talented photographer with a really lengthy lens. He’s spent weeks watching nesting birds of prey up to now. However on today the eagles’ nest eluded him. He walked throughout in search of it close to the place he and others had seen it fly. Nothing. He gave up. 

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Practically again to his dwelling in Alameda, “a bald eagle flew over my head.”

“Bing-bada-bing—there it was! I used to be astounded,” Lewis says.

The breeding pair. (Picture by Rick Lewis)

Lewis knew it was a particular second. A nest in Alameda marks a win within the lengthy, sluggish return of our nationwide chook. Bald eagles disappeared from California’s coast by the Seventies thanks largely to DDT, the eggshell-thinning pesticide used to eradicate malaria. By the point eagles have been listed as endangered in 1978, an estimated 30 breeding pairs have been left in California, all within the northern third of the state. Lewis was among the many many birders who’ve watched them return. He knew, for instance, of the pair which have constructed a nest at a Milpitas elementary college for the previous seven years.

“The truth that they’ve been there, and been profitable, offers me hope that these birds in Alameda will likely be profitable,” Lewis says. “So long as folks train regular precautions and don’t fly a drone into the nest.”

For the previous 10 days he has watched the nest virtually day by day, taking pictures footage from a distance. On two straight days they disappeared and he received anxious, however they got here again. They’re constructing a nest in a tree. “They’re each very lively and bonding, in gathering sticks and arranging them within the nest,” he says. On Monday he noticed them preening one another. Lewis doesn’t assume they’ve laid any eggs, as a result of they’re steadily each gone from the nest for hours at a time. In the event that they do: incubation time is 35 days.

Lewis feels fortunate, and protecting of the birds—he requested Bay Nature to not share figuring out particulars of the nest’s location. He doesn’t use eBird or iNaturalist or Instagram, however has as an alternative discreetly reported his sightings to native conservation teams and businesses. Sightings have begun to trickle in on-line, although. For a quick second, earlier than they turn out to be the toast of Alameda, these birds really feel virtually like “his” eagles. However it will likely be temporary, he is aware of. “They’re exhausting to not discover once they’re within the air,” he says.

One of many Alameda eagles, doing one thing stick-related. (Picture by Rick Lewis)

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