Neighbors unite to save young eaglets

By Chris Giblin

Nick and Nora, the beloved pair of bald eagles that have made White Rock Lake their home for the last three years, have weathered a wild week. In mid-March, the iconic pair saw the hatching of two eaglets, their first since losing their clutch when their nest collapsed in February 2022. 

Staff from the Blackland Prairie Raptor Center bring the eaglet back to its nest.
Photo by Chris Giblin

After 10 weeks of growing, feeding, flapping their wings, and surviving the storms that have ravaged the area, the juvenile eagles were close to fledging the nest. Then, on early Tuesday morning, May 28, the fierce winds knocked both eaglets from the nest as it collapsed. 

One eaglet was quickly rescued thanks to quick actions of those in the nearby neighborhood and responding city officials. 

It was quickly taken to Rogers Wildlife Rehabilitation before being transferred to Blackland Prairie Raptor Center in Lucas, Texas.

Despite numerous search efforts, the second eaglet was not found.

During the ensuing week, photographers and locals kept an eye on Nick and Nora while searching for updates on the rescued juvenile eagle. 

Word began to spread that the eaglet was in fine condition and behaving as it should while at Blackland Prairie and would be reintroduced to the nest area sooner than later. 

Extended separation of the eaglet from the parents could lead to its rejection and force it to be withdrawn for its safety, so the clock was ticking, and both the rehabilitation facility and the City of Dallas raced against the clock to put a plan in place for a successful reunion. 

A deer stand was put in place under the tree the adult bald eagles normally perch at when not on the nest, and also given a clear line of sight to the nest to ensure Nick and Nora knew their baby was safely back. 

The stand was dressed up with limbs, leaves and large branches to give the eaglet comfort. 

On Sunday June 2, Blackland Prairie Raptor Center and city officials placed the eaglet in the stand as a small number of onlookers gathered to watch this heartfelt moment. Throughout the next day and a half volunteers from BPRC took turns in two-hour shifts watching for how Nick and Nora would react. 

The parents stayed close and even perched above the eaglet on Sunday. 

On Monday, the almost 11-week-old raptor decided to leave the makeshift nest and took to the surrounding trees. Later that evening it was seen reunited on a snag not far from the nest.