Baby Eaglets Spotted At Will County Forest Preserve1

Eaglets Spotted At Will County Forest Preserve

April 21, 2022
Donate Today

Two eaglets have been spotted at a Will County Forest Preserve.

Eagle-eyed photographer Bertrand Leclercq, a regular contributor on the Will County Wildlife Facebook Group, caught a glimpse of the two in their nest and snapped some photos.

Bertrand Leclercq eaglet 2

photo courtesy: Bertrand Leclercq

Two Nests In Preserves

The Forest Preserve District of Will County says there are two known eagle nests within the preserves. Two eaglets were also seen last year in the same nest pictured here. Nests are used year after year, with eagles sprucing them up with some maintenance and add-ons each year. Eventually, the nest will become too big and will either collapse, or break the tree with its weight…at which point the eagle relocates.

Eaglet Activity

The new eaglets will likely start exploring outside of their nest, better known as “branching,” about ten weeks after they’ve hatched. About two weeks later, they’ll start testing their wings. But they won’t stray too far too fast – they’ll stick near their parents through summer and into fall.

Growing Local Population

photo courtesy: Bertrand Leclercq

Longtime volunteer with the Forest Preserve District of Will County Joel Craig has been monitoring the local eagle population and their nesting activity. He says the rise in numbers of young bald eagles each winter is a good sign that those spotted now have taken up residence here, rather than migrated. It’s also an indicator that Will County waterways have healthy fish and clean water to help the eagles survive.

“To see eagles rebound like they have in this area in the past 10 years has been pretty exciting,” said Craig in a forest preserve press release. “To be threatened and endangered when I was a kid to what we’re seeing now, it’s really a population explosion in our area over the past few years.”

Nest Locations Kept Secret

photo courtesy: Bertrand Leclercq

The forest preserve district does not disclose the locations of the nests. Human interference may cause the eagles to abandon their nest, as well as their eggs. Both the eagles and their nests are under federal protection by the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. If someone does spot a nest, it’s recommended that they stay at least 330 feet away, and avoid doing anything to disturb the eagles, according to the National Audubon Society.

Leclerq noted in his Facebook post that his images had been taken at a distance of more than 330 feet.

Naperville News 17’s Kim Pirc reports.

All images courtesy of Bertrand Leclercq

If you have a story idea, we want to hear from you!