HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. -- It's official: Savannah and Derek have two eggs in their nest.
Both eggs were spotted Thursday morning as Savannah briefly left the nest to eat. The eggs are expected to hatch next week.
People have asked different questions about Derek and Savannah’s nest at Carolina Raptor Center. Why is it on the ground? What do they build it with? How big is it?
Bald eagles, like many other birds, make their nests out of sticks. Really big sticks. An eagle nest is on average five feet in diameter and may be in a tree, on a cliff, or on the ground, but is always near water. Its shape varies depending on where it is located. Nests in trees are bowl-shaped or cylindrical, whereas nests on cliffs and on the ground are flat.
At the Carolina Raptor Center, Derek and Savannah built their nest on a six foot square platform that sits about 18 inches off the ground. They can’t really fly up into the tree with their injuries to build a nest. In the past, they have built it on the ground, but the staff at Carolina Raptor Center built the platform in recent years to protect the nest from flooding.
The two eagles take turns sitting on the nest throughout the day. So if you watch closely, you might get a glimpse of their interaction when they switch off.
Since eagles like Savannah and Derek mate for life, they return to the same nest every year, and often add material to the nest. The some nests have grown to be up to nine feet in diameter and weigh over a ton. Eagles return to the same nest every year and are very territorial of the area surrounding the nest and about a square mile around the nest site. Thankfully, Savannah and Derek don’t mind their aviary-mates being around their nest.