Bald Eagles at Three Rivers Avian Center


Regis, Three Rivers Avian Center (Annual Spring Photography Workshop photo)

Did you know that more bald eagles than ever are hatching in Southern West Virginia?

A spring survey by Three Rivers Avian Center revealed America’s bird is coming home to roost.

Watching the watchers

Have you ever spotted a bald eagle? It’s a treat. Your heart skips at the sight of a lofty mahogany-and-white bird.

Simply put, they’re special.

Three Rivers Avian Center protects these animals and other wildlife so folks can enjoy them for generations. Aside from rescue operations, its team of veterinarians and volunteers conduct routine surveys in Southern West Virginia.

Egg hunt

This spring, Three Rivers Avian Center began its 9th eagle survey. Since bald eagles hunt near water, volunteers and bird experts fanned out along the New River Gorge area and miles of tributaries.

Here’s what the Three Rivers team discovered:

  • Volunteers identified 33 bald eagles and 4 golden eagles
  • They also spotted 4 more eagles, but couldn’t identify them
  • The Brooks Island pair (“Brooks” and “Sandy”) is nesting and already has 1 egg. The massive bald eagle nest was the first one bird watchers discovered in Southern West Virginia.
  • In total, they found 8 bald eagle nests.

Encouraging statistics like these suggest more of these striking animals are settling into the area. Last year, volunteers counted 9 adults and 9 juveniles.

Catch and release

Chicks aren’t the only critters making headlines at Three Rivers. In March, they  found a young female bald eagle suffering from lead poisoning. She was listless, underweight and unable to fly.

Thanks to Three Rivers, her appetite and personality are slowly returning.

Have you ever seen a bald eagle in Southern West Virginia?