Two Lake Waco eaglets survive storm, but lose nest

The eaglet in that the pair was raising in 2018. (Photo courtesy of Brian Boyd Photography/file)
By  | 

LORENA, Texas (KWTX) Two 12-week-old bald eagle babies were on their way to rehab Thursday morning after their nest was damaged during Wednesday night’s storms.

Rachael Sine, with the Lorena Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, said state game wardens were “on the way” to the center at about 9:30 a.m. Thursday with the two small birds they’d recovered from their Lake Waco next.

One of the eaglets was injured slightly, but the other wasn’t hurt.

Their father “stayed close to the nest site” but the mother bird flew away.

The birds will be in Lorena only a short time because the center isn’t authorized to rehab bald eagles, but there is a government approved eagle rehab center in San Antonio, which is where the babies will go.

“They’re not quite fledglings, but almost,” Sine said, “most young eagles fly at about 14 weeks, so they’re a couple of weeks short of that.”

The pair of bald eagles has been nesting at Lake Waco for at least the past dozen years.

A year ago the two were raising a female hatchling.

This isn’t the first time a storm has struck the pair’s nest.

In a 2018 interview, Brian Boyd, a local photographer who has been documenting the lives of the two eagles for at least the last nine years, recalled another instance.

“I went there after one storm and found the old tree had blown down,” Boyd said.

“The mother eagle was sitting on the fallen tree just looking into the water where her nest was,” Boyd said, then she looked up at him to see if he could help, “but the babies had already drowned.”

That’s happened two or three times is the past nine years, Boyd said in 2018, and every time it’s tragic.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers several years ago after one such event built a steel nesting tower sturdy enough the withstand any springtime Texas storm, “but the birds haven’t taken to it yet,” Boyd said.

“Maybe it’ll happen someday.”