Orv and Willa had been expanding on their nest since their first brood at Carillon in 2018. The eagles built a nest in a towering sycamore tree behind Wright Hall, home of the 1905 Wright Flyer III. Each year the new eaglets are given aviation-themed names with the help of suggestions on social media.
Earlier this year, Orv and Willa lost a newly laid egg and their nest when it was destroyed during a February windstorm. The loss of their nest put the arrival of eaglets this year into doubt. Within one week, the bald eagles rebuilt a nest one-third the size and laid the eggs.
Kittyhawk and Skye are currently around five pounds in weight and about two feet in length, Weller said. He explained that in the next week there will be tremendous changes in size, appearance and mobility. By June 9, the eaglets are expected to be as big as Orv and Willa.
“They will then spend the next two weeks hopping from one side of the nest to the other while flapping their wings and showing off their nearly 7-foot wingspans,” Weller said.
The first flight is expected to take place in mid to late June, he said.
Of the 11 eaglets that Orv and Willa have parented together since 2018, Weller said eight have survived.
In addition, Orv and Willa are part of a resurgence of bald eagles.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife reported there were at least 806 bald eagle nests in the state, according to the latest census. This represents a 14 percent increase from the 707 bald eagle nests documented in Ohio in 2020, and a 187 percent increase from 2012, the year the bald eagle was removed from Ohio’s list of threatened and endangered species.
To be successful, eagles need three things, Weller previously said — a high tree with good visibility, a river or lake for a food source, and somewhere hopefully isolated from human activity.
The bald eagle — the national bird of the U.S. since 1782 — was once an endangered species with only four nesting pairs in Ohio in 1979.