Bald eagles make new home at Radnor Lake

Posted at 6:14 PM, Jan 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-28 11:35:23-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Conservation efforts in Tennessee have led to the nesting of two young bald eagles at Radnor Lake for the first time in recorded history.

The two birds, who are thought to be about 5 years old, are actively creating a nest on a perch overlooking their hunting grounds on the lake.

In the early 80s, the first pair of birds to nest in Tennessee was a part of a recovery effort to increase the population of eagles nationwide. Since that time, the population has grown to 200 recorded nests across the state.

A bald eagle's diet consists of a lot of fish. So, the nest makes sense on Radnor Lake, though it's in clear view of the general public.

"It looks like they're sticking around," said David Hanni, bird conservation coordinator for TWRA. "I've seen them bring several sticks to the nest location and obviously focused on building up the nest."

The eagles can carry huge sticks up to their nest and eventually it should be about five feet across. Though, nests have been recorded as wide as 12 feet.

"It's the first time since we've been managing Radnor lake that we've had eagles build a nest and start this process," said Steve Ward, park manager at Radnor. "So, we're excited about that. We want that to be something that the public can be excited about."

While the bird's nest is visible from paths in the park, wildlife officials want to keep the public out of the birds' business. While the population of bald eagles has grown, Ward said he hopes to keep everything open near the birds but could easily block it off if he wanted to.

"It's a balancing act as far as, how we manage the resource while allowing the public to have access to it," said Ward. "It would be very easy to shut the gates at Radnor Lake and protect this natural area. But, what benefit would we have if the public couldn't enjoy it?"

People with cameras were shooting pictures of the birds, Thursday. The eagles have between a six and eight-foot wingspan.

The bald eagle population was grown in Tennessee through a process called hacking. It's when juvenile birds are put into a tower together and fed with the hopes of creating more offspring.

The people at Radnor Lake hope once the nest is complete the new pair will have their own eaglets.

This is the closest recorded nest to the state's capitol according to the park.