Jordan Lake. Loblolly has not laid eggs yet; gate still open. Interference sensitivity charts for a bald eagle breeding season has egg laying as the most critical point in time. Juvenile eagles keep an eye on bald eagle nests because they like to rob the nest of eggs or chicks. The parent eagles know this and guard their territory even before eggs are laid. Loblolly and Pitch have the added hardship and stress of human visitors being allowed to get too close to their nest and disturbing the natural sequence of being a parent eagle. There were people in the shelter area when I took these 2 photos. None of the three eagles got anywhere close to the shelter parking lot – they avoided it. Photo: Loblolly on left, Pitch on right, 3-year-old bald eagle in 2nd photo.

Loblolly and Pitch
3-year-old bald eagle

Loblolly and Pitch, of Big Pine Nest, the bald eagle parents at Shelter 8 have returned.  The gate to Picnic Area A, shelter 8 is open and needs to be closed to people.  Loblolly and Pitch lost their chick(s) this last March because the gate to shelter 8 was left open.  Bald eagles, when there is too much interference at their nest, will literally abandon the eggs or chicks in the nest and this is what happened because the gate was left open.  Many of us asked the Superintendent of the park to please close the gate to shelter 8 and that the gate to its sister shelter 2 be opened in its place.  The shelter 8 gate was never closed and people intruded on the nest.  The pressure of people too close to their nest (along with the usual natural interference of other bald eagles) was more than the defense mounted by the two parent eagles could handle. Loblolly and Pitch did their very best – flying in circles, screaming and hoping to scare the people away.  The parent bald eagles lost the confrontation.  Today the gate to shelter 8 is open and people are once again intruding.  Please, contact the Superintendent at   phone: 919-362-0586 ext. 231 and let him know how you feel about this situation.  Please let everyone know to stay out of Picnic Area A and away from shelter 8.  Let’s give Loblolly and Pitch the best chance to raise chicks this season.  Thank you all for your support of the bald eagles of Jordan Lake!

photo: Loblolly trying to scare human intruders away from her nest.

Jordan Lake. Bald eagle parents Loblolly and Pitch have not returned to the nest since 3/21. The chick has not been seen since 3/14, two weeks after it hatched. At 2 weeks, the chick cannot thermoregulate and must have the warmth of a parent to survive. The parents could no longer tolerate the human and canine intrusions, which when added to other natural stressors led to the chick being lost. The park refused to shut the gate to the shelter area and give the very best possible protection to the bald eagle family. A chick of our National Symbol lost, gone. Human disturbance helped bring this untimely ending to these parent bald eagles’ breeding cycle and sorrow to our hearts. The loss of the chick also meant the failure of our best opportunity to once again have our own bald eagle webcam. The closure of a single gate would have given the greatest possible protection, but the park refused to take that simple step.
My heartfelt thanks both to all of you my wonderfully supportive readers and to the caring people of North Carolina and beyond for your steadfast concern and hopes for the Big Pine Nest family.

Abandoned Big Pine Nest

Jordan Lake Bald Eagle nests update. The lake has been so high that it has not been easy for any of us to monitor the nests. It has been dangerous to try to get boats out to check the nests – today’s photos are both from the shore.

Loblolly at Big Pine nest. The shelter nest is of grave concern to all of us – given the human intrusion the other day and we have not been able to actually see the nest from a boat, we don’t know the status of the chick there. So please hold Loblolly and Pitch and their chick in your heart.


The H&G nest. Their chick is growing! You can see it above the red arrow. The chick is looking to the left.
I sure am going to be glad when the lake gets back down to normal level and we can get out and get better looks at all of the nests all over the lake!

H&G bald eagle chick

Jordan Lake: Two park visitors crossed inside the protection boundary at the shelter building this afternoon. Mom Loblolly went yelling up into the air and circled several times before coming in for a landing way north of the nest. An angry bald eagle comes in for a confrontational landing with its feet dangling … ready to strike in any direction. Usually bald eagles land with feet up and forward to catch the branch. However in this case, we know mom bald eagle was not chasing another bald eagle, but was trying to frighten off the humans. It is very rare for a bald eagle to actually attack a human. The bald eagle parents’ ultimate defense is to simply abandon the nest – I sure hope Loblolly and Pitch don’t react in that way. Mom Loblolly was protecting her nest the ancient bald eagle way but the people didn’t care or react to her efforts. After about five minutes or so the people got in their car and left. I ached for Mom Loblolly and Dad Pitch … that they are still being harassed by humans.

Mom Loblolly