Throughout the mid-atlantic region young bald eagles are taking to the air for their first time. A portion of these fledglings are coming out of urban nests where they have grown up watching people and all their daily activities. They have become habituated to our human sounds, movements, our houses and motor vehicles. Bald eagles that are hatched and raised in their typical habitat away from all these human activites are wary of us and tend to avoid contact with us.
Not so with these urban reared bald eagles. Here in the southeast corner of Virginia these urban eagles are being seen launching for the first time from nest trees in peoples yards, sitting on the side of roadways, on rooftops, even on porches looking at their reflection in windows. Some of them allow us to approach to within 10 feet or so before moving away. Unfortunately, some people think that because these eagles are on the ground or our rooftops that they are injured and need to be rescued. Rarely is that the case. Most usually they are just checking us out. Some may be on their first or second flight and just need to rest before taking flight again. Give them some time. Take their photos. In a short time they will take to the air on their own without our help.
First flight from nest in Witchduck area of Virginia Beach (Photos Reese Lukei, Jr)
On side of roadway in Virginia Beach (Photo Walt Tegge)
Sitting on rooftops in Thoroughgood section of Virginia Beach (Photos Reese Lukei Jr)
Juveniles in flight in Norfolk, VA (Photos Mike Inman)