WESTMINSTER, Colo. (KDVR) — The community is mourning another loss for a popular pair of bald eagles in the Standley Lake area.
Standley Lake Regional Park broke the news on Tuesday, announcing their nest fell and the eaglet inside did not survive.
Reesa Conrey, an avian researcher with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, said the eaglet was crushed by a limb that came down on top of the nest.
“It does happen,” Conrey said. “We’ve seen with other pairs before that they’ll be successful for many years and then have a period of lower nest success.”
The eaglet was taken to Rocky Mountain Arsenal for proper burial.
This is the third year in a row the eagles at Standley Lake have lost their offspring, according to the Standley Lake Regional Park Facebook page. A view of the nest is streamed online.
What affects bald eagle nests?
Conrey said bout 75% to 85% of nests survive, each producing about two eaglets, but that can depend on a number of obstacles like weather, other raptors and inexperienced parents.
“In this area in the Front Range of Colorado, the vast majority of them are located in cottonwood trees, which is a fast-growing, weak wood tree. And so just because of their structure, they’re vulnerable to winds and storms,” Conrey said.
Even though the pair lost their nest, Conrey said bald eagles are usually committed to a territory and will hopefully rebuild next year.
“In general, we think they stick it out,” Conrey said. “They’re a long-lived bird and they’re generally very committed to the territories they’re familiar with and defending from other birds.”
Conrey said they’re seeing an increase in known bald eagle nests with a little less than 300 as of the beginning of 2023.