A few years back rumors of Bald Eagle sightings along the Little Miami River close to my house were pretty sketchy and unreliable for the most part, however very much a possibility. Their numbers have increased over the years and the habitat along the river is ideal. Plenty of large trees to build a nest and a reliable food source. But being a birder I wanted to see the bird/birds for myself.
My mind quickly changed while driving one day as I crossed the river near the small village of South Lebanon. Flying above the bridge following the course of the river was my first area sighting of a Bald Eagle. Afterwards videos and photos were shot and shared with everyone on social media. Then someone found their nest. That was 2 years ago.
This area along the river for the most part is a flood plain, intermixed with a few homes, a vineyard, and plenty of gravel businesses. For the most part the gravel businesses own a majority of the property parallel to the river. The Loveland Bike Trail is sandwiched between the gravel quarries and then a wide buffer from the bike trail to the river’s edge. It’s here in this buffer zone where Sycamore trees tower above the landscape, that the eagles have re-built their nest, after the first one was destroyed in a pretty violent storm. At the time of the initial sighting, it seems the eagles were occupying a nest from a Great Blue Heron. Using this nest as a platform they bulked it up in size, while the nests of the herons in this small rookery paled in comparison. So their new nest is still in the same general area, but still looks like a strong storm could wreak havoc with it.
There’s only a few places where you can view the nest, and last night I was heading towards one of them located in the driveway of a closed landfill on the opposite side of the river from the nest. There’s just enough of an opening in the trees to get a decent view of the nest with your spotting scope, which turned out vacant at the time I arrived. So I waited.
10 minutes later an adult eagle arrived at the nest with something in it’s beak. I was hoping that I’d see some small eagle heads pop up from the bottom of the nest, but no, the adult proceeded to eat whatever it caught. Then it took off, flew in a circle and started to head in my direction. It flew above the tree line to my left when I shot this next photo.
I lost sight of the eagle as it passed behind an evergreen. My angle was bad what with the tree in the way so I crossed the road and found the eagle sitting just perfect in a tree just about 100 yards away. I’m so glad I had my camera.