**UPDATED (April 23, 2019)
The first photograph of one of the newly hatched eaglets at Carillon Historical Park has been captured.
Jim Weller, the founder of Eastwood Eagle watchers, took the photo of the eaglet with its mother, Willa, Monday, April 22.
It’s unknown which one of the eaglets, just peaking over the nest at the lower left, is in the photograph, but Weller said the eldest is now 24 days old and all are between 8 to 10-inches tall and covered in grey feathers.
“It’s hard to believe that little face in less than 50 days will become the same size as mom and dad,” Weller said. “They have a lot of growing to do.”
Weller took this photograph with a 3,000 millimeter lens. He suggests bringing a pair of binoculars to the park to glimpse the eaglets.
**UPDATED (April 15, 2019) The latest news out of the tree tops at Carillon Historical Park is a third eaglet has been spotted.
Jim Weller, the founder of Eastwood Eagle watchers, reported the update Monday morning.
“One of the Eastwood Eagle Watchers using extremely powerful binoculars was able to clearly see three fuzzy white heads up there! That nest will be pretty crowded in a month.”
The news of an additional bald eagle baby is encouraging news for Weller and eagle watchers. “Three eaglets increases our chances of undoing last year's losses. I so want them to succeed this time.”
**UPDATED (April 10, 2019): It looks like Orv and Willa are the parents of at least one more eaglet.
Jim Weller, the founder of Eastwood Eagle Watchers, reported the update Wednesday.
“I have determined that there are likely two eaglets in the nest, and possibly three. Orv and Willa are bringing in way too much food for just one, and today they were each simultaneously feeding eaglets from opposite sides of the nest!”
**ORIGINAL REPORT (April 3, 2019)
Orv and Willa, the bald eagles nesting at Carillon Historical Park, are parents again.
At least one eaglet has hatched in the nest built by the life-long mates in the branches of a sycamore tree above Wright Hall at the park, Carillon staff confirmed Wednesday afternoon, April 3.
“We won’t know how many there are for about another month,” said Jim Weller, the founder of Eastwood Eagle Watcher. “They have to get strong enough to climb the side of the nest. At that point, it’s a matter of counting heads.”
The eaglet(s) will sleep for 24-hours said Jim Weller, the founder of Eastwood Eagle Watchers, because it is exhausted from two days of pecking its way out of the shell. Once rested, the eaglet will “wake up and stay hungry like most babies do.”
A feeding has taken place.
Typically eagles lay more than one egg, so a second, and possibly a third eaglet, could hatch very soon if it hasn’t already.
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 disappeared in June and the second, dubbed Flyer, was struck by a delivery truck and killed in July while attempting to cross Interstate 75.
Visitors to the park are bound to see activity during the next three months, Weller said, making it an opportune time to glimpse a bald eagle.
Orv and Willa will fly back and forth to the nest to feed the baby shredded pieces of meat. While one parent is hunting the other will brood – or keep the baby warm –for two weeks until its white fuzzy down is replaced by a grey undercoat of feathers. “I call it the grey flannel suit,” Weller said.
The parents will also protect their young from predators. Great horned owls and red-tailed hawks, who share the same territory, are the biggest threats.
The eaglets’ head will appear above the nest three to four weeks after it hatches, a time when babies are referred to as bobbleheads. “The beak gets bigger and their neck muscles haven’t developed and they bobble their heads around as they peak over, Weller said.
In May and June the feeding trips will pick up as the young grow. The eagle enthusiasts will keep watch over the family and Weller will post updates and photographs on the blog eastwoodeaglewatchers.wordpress.com.
“It’s still just as amazing to me as it ever was,” Weller said. “This is what you wait for, this is the next generation coming on board.”
WANT TO OBSERVE BALD EAGLES?
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: Adult: $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.