Eagle Activity Update: Jefferson's Reach

February 13, 2011. An exciting period has come for the Bald Eagles of the James, it is time for them to nest.  From my observations over the last two weeks, I'd say it's a good chance all five pairs of resident bald eagles on Jefferson's Reach on the James are sitting on eggs.  Why do I say that?  Over the last two weeks, I have only noted one bird at a time with all five pairs.  That means there is a good chance the other bird is incubating a clutch.

There are two nests visible in Jefferson's Reach.  Bandit & Smokey's and Baba & Pops'.  Three days ago, both nests were occupied by an eagle that was hunkered deep down into the nest, only popping their head up once in a while.  These two happy pairs are no doubt nesting a clutch.

The other three pairs, Virginia & James, Varina & Enon, and Rebecca & Capt. John all have nests built far off the river, nestled in deep within the pines, oaks, hickories, and sycamores. Over the last two weeks, there has been only one bird at a time from these pairs out on the riverbanks.  Normally I see two, unless they are nesting.  This could be very good for the eagle population this year in Jefferson's Reach.  The eagles will be sharing te duty of incubating their clutch for about 35 days.  Their eggs will hatch around the second or third week of March, which coincides with the annual run of hickory shad and blue back herring.  Pretty smart birds if you ask me.  --Capt. Mike

The Photo's Story:  This is an image of two eagles trying to nest on the James.  No, this isn't a pair in Jefferson's Reach, but the pair that is supposedly trying to nest in the City of Richmond, just below the Powhite Bridge on the James River.  Judy Self has been watching eagles on the James for many years, and has been watching these two just about everyday for the past month.  As of her last report, they still have not laid an egg.  It's getting late though, hopefully soon we will have good news.  --Photo by Judy Self