BARTLESVILLE, Okla. — A pair of Southern Bald Eagles is preparing for an eaglet coming to its nest.
The eagle’s nest is about two miles behind the George Miksch Sutton Avian Research Center in Bartlesville.
The Center’s first major project was to help re-establish nesting Bald Eagle populations in Oklahoma and across the southeastern United States.
They’ve brought the population from zero to 300 nesting pairs, including the one in the nest near the center.
The nesting pair has become somewhat of a sensation on the Sutton Center’s Eagle Camera as they prepare for the female eagle to lay her egg.
Dan Reinking is the senior biologist at the George Miksch Sutton Avian Research Center.
“They’ve been working on refurbishing the nest, as eagles do every year,” he said, “They bring some new sticks up to the nest to build the rim up a little higher. They do re-arranging inside the next to make things a little more comfortable. They’ll carry fistfuls of grass up to the nest.”
That gives it a soft place for the female eagle to lay her eggs.
Reinking expects that to happen in the next two to three weeks.
Once the female eagle lays her egg, the incubation period is about 33 days.
When the eagle hatches, it will stay in the nest for a couple of months.
“Usually, in April to late May is the time frame when Oklahoma eagles are leaving the nest to start living on their own to start living independently,” Reinking said.
From there, he said, it will fly north for its first summer and return in the winter to the area, but it will never return to the nest.
When the Center began its program, it released 90 eagles across Oklahoma and 275 across 5 southeastern states.
“The population nationally has been recovering very well over the last decade and it was removed from the endangered species list in 2007,” Reinking said, “And the population’s continued to grow since then.”
The Center also provides education for the public. Its most popular exhibit is this bald eagle’s wingspan board.
You line yourself up and stretch out your arms to see which bird’s wingspan you match.
We were lucky enough to catch a glimpse of two Southern Bald Eagles on Wednesday.
The Sutton Center Eagle Camera has had more than a million viewers over the years.
You can watch a live video of the nesting Southern Bald Eagles here.
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