"I've got some bad news, Jason. The nest fell down sometime this morning or last night."
That's the call I received from Larry Gerold, owner of the Old Dutch Tavern, on Monday morning. Our beloved pair of bald eagles had their nest crash down to the ground with their lone eaglet inside.
I was able to get out to the Perkins Avenue nest within a half hour and had hoped that Larry was mistaken as I turned into the parking lot, but all that remained were a few scraps of nest. The nest that was built over four years ago and had grown to over 1000 lbs was no more. And the eaglet was nowhere to be found.
There are plenty of people out there that will say "Who cares about an eagle?" You'd be surprised, plenty of people do. In the ten minute stops I would make at the nest I would see locals, people from all over Ohio and even some outside-the-state eagle watchers catching a glance of the most accessible wild pair of the national symbol in Ohio.
My two boys looked forward to watching the eagles and would sit quietly in their car seats, looking out their windows at the eagles, as daddy would take photos and show them a closeup of the nest from the back of the camera. I looked forward to taking them out their to see the newest eaglet stretching his wings and making a go of it, but that ended Monday.
It was fitting the eagles set up their high profile nest in Erie County- Ohio's Vacationland and America's Rollercoast. And I hope the pair decides to build again in Erie County where we can see them. The pair and their fledged eaglets have been a joy to photograph for the past four years.
Here are some photos from 2006 until late last week that I have gathered....