South Fork Eagle 2

Bob Hartmann, Little Red River Audubon Society President, Gates Rodgers
Foundation, VP and SFNC Docent

Have you seen your Bald Eagle(s) today? They are here year-round, but not
in the same areas all the time. After years of post-DDT recovery most
populations across North America have prospered and blossomed. Some move
seasonally to new areas where prey and other foods are more available.

Here on Greers Ferry Reservoir scattered pairs, their offspring and ‘loners’
can be commonly seen by a watchful eye. On the South Fork of the Little Red
River arm of the reservoir, in the South Fork Nature Center (SFNC) vicinity,
a nesting pair had consistently occupied a huge pine tree at the edge of a
high bluff that overlooks the water. This parent pair regularly,
successfully produced three eaglets for many years. The nest site and its
users were a popular attraction to Greers Ferry Reservoir’s South Fork arm

South Fork Eagle

About four years ago nearby home owners noticed that the female eagle was
new, a smaller bird and not as meticulous a nest keeper as the previous
parent. During that first new parent-year only two eaglets were produced;
they did not grow uniformly and may not have left the nest. During the
second year two eaglets again hatched and fledged but the last one to leave
the nest was weak and did not fully take to the air, spent an inordinate
amount of time on the ground and succumbed to predators.

The nest has since deteriorated and parts of the large pine have died and
fallen. However, Bald Eagles can still be seen in the area of the South Fork
Nature Center and nearby food sources. This time of year Bald Eagles may be
seen to congregate, with Black Vultures and Turkey Vultures, in pastures
where composted poultry parts are distributed as fertilizer.

Learning Resources:

Bird’s Eye View! Watch a real-time nesting camera stream from Berry College in Georgia:
Berry College Eagle Cam

Berry’s Eagles: Live Video & Lesson Plans Eagle’s Eye anatomy & journaling project

Eagle Habitat Photography Gallery

“Focus on Feathers: Journey North Bald Eagles” Slideshow

Multiple Lesson Plans centered around eagles (printable PDF)