James River Water Levels

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Gauge Height: 6.77'
Flow: 11400 cfps

Trail Conditions: Richmond


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High Tide: 3:48pm
Low Tide: 10:18am

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Eaglet(s) hatch on Island in James River

Chris Johnson

April 6, 2016 8:17pm
The eaglet in its nest on Cooper's Island nest. Credit: Chris Johnson

The eaglet in its nest on Cooper’s Island nest. Credit: Chris Johnson

I went by the nest at Cooper’s Island last week and didn’t see anything — no eaglets, and no adult eagles. I went back today to check again and saw an adult flying around high in the sky. It quickly disappeared from sight, and after 20 minutes or so of walking up and down Riverside Drive in Westover Hills to get different views of the nest I was about ready to give up, since I hadn’t seen any activity. As I was opening the door of my car, I decided to take one last look at the nest, and I’m glad I did — I saw little eaglet wings flapping up and down in the nest!

Five minutes later one of the adults came back with a fish to feed the little one. Given the position of the branches around the nest, I wasn’t able to see much in the downstream end, but it sure looked like the adult was tearing off fish then reaching down to that side of the nest as well as to the side where I could see the eaglet. So maybe there are two eaglets. Who knows?

The eaglet still seemed pretty small and was just peeking its head up over the edge of the nest. Even with the big telephoto lens, the nest is too far away to get high quality images, but you can definitely see a baby eagle. Both photos have a similar profile of the eaglet. In one photo the beak looks completely dark, and in the other it has a little more yellow in it. Maybe 2 different eaglets? It’s certainly possible that they could walk around the nest without being able to see them, so if there are two maybe they switched positions. Time will soon tell!

Look closely. Are there two eaglets in the nest? Only time will tell. Credit: Chris Johnson

Look closely. Are there two eaglets in the nest? Only time will tell. Credit: Chris Johnson

About Chris Johnson

Chris Johnson is a Richmond native and local physician who spends much of his free time photographing the area's natural beauty. Find him on Instagram at @vintage_RVA