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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

New Eaglets in 520 Nest

A new pair of eaglets were barely visible in the Broadmoor nest, on Monday. 

Last year the 520 eagles, commonly called Eva and Albert, appeared to spend time on the eggs but no eaglets arrived. It is reassuring to once again see new life in the nest.

Happily, the eagles not only overcame last year's failed attempt, but also do not appear stressed or distracted by the 520 construction. They are even still hunting from the old 520 light poles.

The eaglets appear to be approximately 2 weeks ahead of schedule, when compared to this June 2nd photo from 2012.

It is interesting to note the condition of the young eaglet's wings. The initial "feather" covering looks more like soft warm fur. Warmth is important given the wind and exposure in the nest. The eaglets will grow and change rapidly over the next few weeks. By Independence Day the eaglets will look a lot more like the parents, although it will be four or five years before they are fully mature with white heads and tails.

On closer examination you can see the cores of new feathers beginning to extrude from the wings. These wings are not yet capable of flight, so it is critical that the young birds remain in the nest. The nest is about hundred feet above the ground. Even though the grass on the golf course looks soft, the eaglets would be unlikely to survive a fall. 

Albert watches when Eva returns with a fish. The waters of Union Bay are providing plenty of food for the growing family.

The young have apparently learned to eat on their own, as Eva did not parse out pieces as she has done in previous years.

She dropped the fish and flew to a perch just above the nest. Most of the time one or both of the parents remain in the nesting tree to protect the young. Crows have been the only creatures seen observing the nest. The crows are noisy, but they stay out of reach of the parent's beaks and talons.

On Tuesday evening, the nonstop parenting process continued.

Someone passing by remarked that the young eaglets look a bit like dinosaurs. The resemblance is amazing.

We are very lucky to share our city, and our planet, with these incredible creatures.

Eva must be able to tell the eaglets apart. I wonder if she has names for them? We cannot know her thoughts, but the mothering instinct is obvious. 

The 520 eagles had two eaglets in 2012, one in 2013 and apparently none in 2014. Their stories and photos can be viewed by clicking on the following links:



Have a great day on Union Bay…where eaglets live in the city!



  1. Awesome news and great photos, as usual Larry.

    Thanks for your time and energy.

  2. You are welcome! It is a joy to share!

  3. Thanks so much, Larry!

  4. Larry, this is just wonderful! Thank you so much for your time and attention to the ongoing eagle story.

    1. You are welcome! I struggle with the distances involved, that lower the quality of the photos, but even with fuzzy photos it is nice to know the young eaglets have arrived. :-)

  5. Sad this morning - I think the eastbound 520 just below the new bridge had eagle remains in the far left lane. Not much was left but the color and feather size strongly suggested the worst. Let's hope not.

  6. I will run over and check the nest shortly to see which one (or hopefully two) of the parents are still present. Shortly after that I will be crossing 520 if everything I see confirms your sighting I will forward your comment to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Thank you for letting me know!
    If this is Albert (for instance) I am hopeful that Eva could still feed the young. The unknown issue will be whether the young are old enough to survive in the nest with the protection of an adult while she is hunting. It could be touch and go.

    1. I meant to say..."to survive in the nest withOUT the protection...

    2. It looks like the 520 eagles are both fine. I photographed the remains on the bridge. It can be hard to see much at 50 mph. Via the photo I can see that the remains cover a spot roughly 18" in diameter. I believe an eagle's remains would cover a much larger area.