James River Water Levels

Westham Gauge
Gauge Height: 5.96'
Flow: 8110 cfps

Trail Conditions: Richmond


Todays Tides: Richmond Locks

High Tide: 7:00pm
Low Tide: 1:30am

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Posted In: Birding

Will Cooper’s Island bald eagles lay eggs?

February 15, 2012 9:07am

The eagles of Cooper’s Island are sending mixed signals. First, it didn’t look like they’d use the nest that they’ve dropped eggs into the past two years. Then, last Friday and Saturday, they returned and mated both days. They were on the nest again the past couple of days, but, according to stalwart eagle watcher Judy Self, they haven’t really been exhibiting the behavior typical of parents-to-be. They haven’t done much fixing up of the nest, and they haven’t spent as much time there as, for istance, the eagles on the eagle cam in Windsor Farms  spent at their nest before eggs were laid.

On Monday Self and I watched them bring what appeared to be a very large fish to the nest and eat for a while. Yesterday, they returned for an hour or two, but then flew off to parts unknown. Eagles generally take 3-4 days between a successful mating and the dropping of the first egg. That means if the Saturday mating session that Self witnessed was successful, the female should drop an egg no later than today.

We’ll see. Stay tuned.

(If you want to take in the eagle show, the best place to watch is from the 5100 block of Riverside Drive in Westover Hills.)

About Andy Thompson

I was the Outdoors Columnist at the Times-Dispatch from 2007 to 2013, writing twice a week about mountain biking, fishing, hunting, paddling and much more. I live a 1/4 mile from the James River, close enough to see bald eagles soaring over my house on their way to find a meal. Pretty cool, eh?