BRIGHTON, Colo. (KDVR) — Bald eagles now have access to a new nesting site after state wildlife officials installed a new basket at Barr Lake State Park.
Earlier this year, a nest and two eggs were destroyed when the dead cottonwood tree it was in came crashing down. Friday morning, Colorado Parks and Wildlife reinstalled a manmade starter nest in a sturdier tree to attract eagles.
“They could choose a whole other tree and start from scratch, but we’re going to give them the opportunity to have the basket that’s made out of rebar and wire, and then we put some big sticks in it so it’s a little more visible. But we’re giving them that opportunity to nest here so that people can enjoy them,” Colorado Parks and Wildlife park manager Michelle Seubert told FOX31.
The new basket is about three feet wide. Once it becomes a nest, it can grow as large as eight feet across and weigh up to a ton.
It is located high in a cottonwood tree near the lake. Should eagles choose to nest there, it will be visible to the public from the park’s gazebo.
“This is an area that’s protected, and we’re giving the raptors their home and then being able to educate people about them,” Seubert said.
The park is home to two year-round nesting pairs. During the winter, more than 100 eagles may be visible at a time.
“We like to say that Barr Lake is a bed and breakfast for birds,” Seubert said. “So birds need food water shelter and space. Bald eagles love the high cottonwood trees. We have those here. They love fish. We have the lake, where they can do their feeding. So we really have everything that they need.”
This is the third time wildlife officials have reinstalled the nest basket since 1986. The last one survived for 10 years.
“We are providing spaces and land for our wildlife to thrive, and I think that’s what’s super important,” Seubert said.
Eagles may choose to nest in the new basket right away, several years from now or never. The park will post updates on its website if and when there is activity at the nest.