Since I last wrote, I haven’t seen the bald eagles known as Virginia or James at Pony Pasture. Not sure what that means, but I hope they’re okay. I have seen two juvenile bald eagles (probably about 2-3 years old) in the area. Again, not sure what that means. I’m usually down that way 4 or 5 times a week and will continue to keep my eyes open for them.
A bald eagle and osprey exchange pleasantries in downtown Richmond. Credit: Chris Johnson
The nest on Cooper’s Island seems very active. I’ve seen both eagles in the nest at the same time, which is a good sign of having eggs. I’ve also seen them looking down in the nest a lot; it’s like they’re looking down at something in particular. I can’t see in to the nest, but hopefully they’re looking at eggs or eaglets! I think the eaglet last year hatched around this time. If the same holds true this year, hopefully we’ll see an eaglet head popping up some time soon.
I haven’t been out to the site of the nest near Stony Point but have heard other folks mention seeing both eagles flying around the area.
The shad have started to arrive in downtown Richmond, and the osprey and eagles are very active. I’ve been lucky to see lots of osprey fishing, and in the past few days have spotted up to 5 eagles at once flying around the floodwall. Interestingly, there seems to be a pair of 4-year-old’ish bald eagles that i’ve been seeing together down there. I’m not an eagle expert but know they don’t mate until they’re adults (at 5 years of age). But I don’t know if they start to seek out mates before they reach maturity. It’d be exciting to have a pair nest around Shad Island downtown!
An eagle tends the nest at Cooper’s Island near Westover Hills. Credit: Chris Johnson