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Gauge Height: 4.02'
Flow: 2200 cfps

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High Tide: 7:00pm
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Posted In: Birding, James River

T-D Report: RVA Now Home to Three Bald Eagle Nests

Andy Thompson

March 18, 2015 12:28pm

Four years ago I covered the daily comings and goings of a pair of bald eagles on an island in the James River not too far from my house. Cooper’s Island is just upstream (and visible from) the Nickel Bridge. There’s also a great view of it from the 5100 block of Riverside Drive. That year, 2011, I watched as another eagle attacked the nest and drove those eagles out of the area.


T-D photog Dean Hoffmeyer snapped this photo of the Cooper’s Island eagle on March 17. What a shot!

Now, after three years where no nesting attempts were made, it appears a pair is back on Cooper’s Island.

Rex Springston reported in today’s Times-Dispatch (and Dean Hoffmeyer captured some great pictures) of eagles in one of two towering pine trees on the island. Springston quoted bird scientist Bryan Watts, of the Center for Conservation Biology, as saying that it was obvious the nest had been rebuilt after three years of neglect, and he could see eggs that should have hatched by now.

Additionally, Watts confirmed to Springston what I reported here a couple of weeks ago: There’s a third eagle nest in the city of Richmond between the Stony Point Fashion Park and the James River near the Willey Bridge.

This is all really cool news for lovers of America’s defining avian symbol. Check back here regularly for more updates. I plan on heading out there today with local photographer Chris Johnson to see if we can capture the eagles in action.

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?