Friday, April 07, 2006

Eagle Dilemma at the Wilson Bridge

For several years now, there has been a pair of bald eagles nesting at the Maryland end of the Wilson Bridge, which carries the Beltway over the Potomac near Alexandria. Despite the traffic noise and the construction work, these eagles have persevered to raise their offspring. This is one of two bald eagle nests inside the Beltway.

The eagle pair, nicknamed George and Martha, has a new set of eggs to tend this spring. The two guarded the nest as usual until another eagle attacked Martha in an aerial duel that left Martha severely injured. Wildlife rehabilitators took Martha to Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research in Newark, Delaware, for care, and her outlook looks good.

In the meantime, there is a question of what will happen to the eggs. George has been tending it for the time being, but he needs to eat, and if the eggs hatch, the chicks will need feeding as well. Wildlife managers may decide to place the chicks in another nest for care if they believe that gives them a better chance of survival.