Aerial survey shows bald eagle activity

The female bald eagle incubates eggs in her nest in the Ramona Grasslands in this aerial photo from the Wildlife Research Institute. Photo courtesy of Wildlife Research Institute
The female bald eagle incubates eggs in her nest in the Ramona Grasslands in this aerial photo from the Wildlife Research Institute. Photo courtesy of Wildlife Research Institute

Wildlife Research Institute (WRI) reports that the female bald eagle in the Ramona Grasslands is incubating eggs, and a new pair of bald eagles was spotted nesting north of Palomar Mountain.

Late last year, a pair of bald eagles was discovered building a nest in the Ramona Grasslands for the first time in known history. Although bald eagles have migrated to the grasslands in the winter, they were usually juveniles and did not nest, according to WRI.

During a recent county-wide golden eagle nesting survey, WRI captured aerial photographs of the incubating bald eagle but could not determine the number of eggs.

It was during that survey that WRI biologists also saw a bald eagle flying with nesting materials clutched in its talons in a remote canyon north of Palomar Mountain. They saw the eagle take the materials to a tree and perch on a nest that was in the process of being built. WRI said the female bald eagle of that pair appeared to be too young to lay fertile eggs this year.

Previously, the only other nesting bald eagles known in the county were at Lake Henshaw, according to Dave Bittner, executive director of WRI, headquartered in Ramona.

While the aerial survey also revealed golden eagles were starting to incubate, a pair with a tiny week-old chick was discovered near Santa Ysabel.

   
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