Beach-nesting eagles on Virginia Barrier Islands

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Beach-nesting eagles on Virginia Barrier Islands



A newly constructed eagle nest was discovered by the Cape Charles Christmas Bird Count crew on the north end of Smith Island on 30 December 2018.  The nest was isolated out on the open beach.  This nest would later have two eggs and on 30 March the adult was observed brooding small young.  Amazingly, on 1 March 2019 Alex Wilke would find a second beach nest with a young eaglet on Ship Shoal Island...

...Outside of the treeless Arctic, ground nests are very rare.  Only a few have been found since the late 1800s, and most of these have been on predator-free offshore islands with examples coming from British Columbia, coastal Texas, and isolated mangrove keys in Florida Bay.  The ground nests represent a larger movement of nesting eagles from the mainland of the Delmarva Peninsula out to the barrier islands...

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