Orv and Willa, the bald eagles nesting at Carillon Historical Park, are expecting a new family.
“There is definitely an egg,” Jim Weller, founder of the Eastwood Eagle Watchers, said Wednesday soon after he spotted the telltale signs.
“Willa was on the nest most of the morning and I saw her roll the egg,” he said.
Eagles stand up and roll their eggs over, a natural instinct that keeps the embryo from attaching to the egg wall, expels gasses produced by embryonic development and allows oxygen into the egg.
This is the third year the lifelong mates have nested in a sycamore tree above Wright Hall inside the park.
Weller and other eagle enthusiasts have been watching for clues in recent days announcing the impending arrival of an egg — or eggs.
“We call it the egg watch,” he said. “I’m always like an expectant father pacing back and forth.”
Willa had been spending a lot of time sitting low in the nest, which eagles do prior to laying an egg, he said. The pair had also expanded and fortified the walls of their nest.
“The nest is nothing but a nursery so except when baby eagles are involved the nest is unattractive to them,” Weller said.
Last year, Orv and Willa’s offspring, Prairie and Aero, hatched in the park.
The juvenile eagles were healthy when last seen, Weller said. They are likely “wandering around” the area but aren’t banded or tagged so can’t be identified from other bald eagles.
Orv and Willa’s first eaglets, born in 2018, died.
Weller said the egg will likely hatch around March 25, typically 35 days after it is laid. He expects Willa to lay a second egg Thursday or Friday.
The location of Orv and Willa’s nest in a public space offers the community a rare opportunity to see bald eagles raise a family up close.
Weller estimates there are now a dozen bald eagles in the area, comparing it to 13 years ago when there were none.
“I’m excited they are coming back and staying,” he said. “This is what they should do, especially if they’ve been successful.
WANT TO GO?
Where: Carillon Historical Park, 1000 Carillon Blvd., Dayton.
Hours: Monday-Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, Noon-5 p.m.
Admission: Adults: $12 (ages 18-59), Senior: $10; Children (ages 3-17): $8. Children under 3 and Dayton History members: free
More: For information about Carillon Historical Park call (937) 293-2841.
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