Carillon Park bald eagles have an egg in their nest

How can you tell? It’s all about body language

***UPDATE (Feb. 26, 2019)***

Willa, the female bald eagle nesting at Carillon Historical Park, laid an egg Sunday afternoon.

How can you tell there’s an egg in a nest located high in the tree tops? It’s all about the body language.

“You can tell by the way the adult is in the nest that something is going on,” Jim Weller said. “She’s placing herself in the bowl of the nest and flattening out to keep her lower chest on the egg and warm it with her body heat.”

This flattened out position puts the eagles wing tips and tail at an awkward looking 45-degree angle that can be viewed from the ground.

When Willa left the nest, Orv, her mate, immediately flew in and took the same position — another clue there’s an egg in the nest.

Weller said Willa will lay a second and possibly a third egg in the coming days, and the first eaglet is expected to hatch out on March 31.

One thing Weller knows for sure, from now until the hatching out, is that the bald eagles will be in their nest providing a perfect opportunity to observe them.

***PREVIOUS STORY (Feb. 22, 2019)***

A pair of bald eagles who made their first nest at Carillon Historical Park last winter are back and preparing for a new family.

Jim Weller, founder of Eastwood Eagle Watchers, has been keeping an eye on the couple, named Orv and Willa, and said he is expecting an egg any day now.

The eagles are pair-bonded, a term for life-long mates, and have returned to the same nest they used last year perched in a sycamore tree above Wright Hall.

Eagle enthusiasts keeping watch at the park have spotted them flying in with sticks, expanding their nest to about five-feet in diameter and lining it with grass and soft material.

“They are carpeting the nursery to get ready for new babies,” Weller said.

Last year Orv and Willa garnered much attention when they chose to nest in a public space that offered the community a rare opportunity to observe bald eagles up close.


Two eaglets hatched at the end of April. One eaglet disappeared in June and the second, dubbed Flyer, was struck by a delivery truck and killed in July while attempting to cross Interstate 75.

“I hoped they would stay in the park and it wouldn’t be a temporary thing,” Weller said. “They have spent all winter here protecting their territory.”

Now the community has a second chance to watch an eagle family develop.

Weller said if Willa lays eggs in the coming days they would hatch in late March. Once the eggs are laid, one of the eagles will constantly be in the nest for the next 35 days until hatching, providing good opportunities for eagle watching.

“People are guaranteed to see an eagle in the nest,” Weller said. “It’s an exciting and a novel thing to see, and something the family can do together.”


Where: Carillon Historical Park, 1000 Carillon Blvd., Dayton.

Hours: Monday-Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, 12 p.m.-5 p.m.

Admission:  Adults: $10 (ages 18-59), Senior: $9; Children (ages 3-17): $7. Children under 3 and Dayton History members: free

More: For information about Carillon Historical Park call (937) 293-2841.

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