Bald eagles begin mating at Jordan Lake nest; advocate warns more protections needed

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Monday, January 16, 2023
More protections needed for bald eagles at Jordan Lake, advocate says
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The bald eagles nesting near a picnic shelter area at Jordan Lake have started mating, according to Dr. Ellen Tinsley.

APEX, N.C. (WTVD) -- The bald eagles nesting near a picnic shelter area at Jordan Lake have started mating, according to Dr. Ellen Tinsley, a veterinarian and passionate advocate for the bald eagles of North Carolina.

The eagles, Loblolly and Pitch, have a nest in a tree near shelter 8. Tinsley said to protect the eagles, people should follow federal laws that ban people from getting within several hundred feet of active bald eagle nests.

People that get close to the nest could scare off Loblolly and Pitch, and Tinsley said that could prove fatal for their offspring.

"Once Loblolly has laid her eggs it is imperative that she or Pitch stay on the eggs, keeping them warm, full time. If the eggs are left uncovered, especially if the environmental temperature gets below 50F, and the parent is off the eggs for more than a couple of minutes, the embryos inside the eggs will die," Tinsley said.

She believes staff at Jordan Lake State Rec Area should keep the gate to shelter 8 closed until the baby bald eagles are big enough to leave the nest, which she says should happen around June.

Tinsley said something similar happened to these eagle at shelter 8 last year. She said the baby bald eagles did not survive.

John S. Hammond, a biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, told ABC11 his agency is aware of the nest at shelter 8 and working closing with park staff to manage the nest and ensure it is protected.