Haliaeetus leucocephalus

15 January 2000

Beaver Run Reservoir, Westmoreland Co., PA

Photos by Mark A. McConaughy

A pair of fourth year Bald Eagles were observed from the PA Route 380 overlook at Beaver Run Reservoir, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania on 15 January 2000. I arrived at Beaver Run at about 10:15 AM and spotted them sitting in a tree on the western point into the reservoir. Both Bald Eagles displayed dark feathers in the white face (one having almost an eye line -- upper right bird in photos below) and both had a dark band in the white tail that was noticeable when they were in flight. Since they have not totally acquired a full white head and tail, they have to be late fourth-year subadults.

I managed to take three digital photos through my spotting scope of the eagles sitting in a tree on the western point that sticks out into the reservoir. They later took off and made some passes at American Black Ducks and Mallards in the reservoir. I was hoping that this was a young pair that was going to set up at Beaver Run, but it does not appear that they are planning on doing so. One of them started to circle and soar. It finally headed out in a northeasterly direction at about 10:45-10:50 AM. The other bird flew over to a large sycamore on the eastern side of the reservoir and was there when I left around 11:00 AM. I saw this bird again at around 9:00 AM on 16 January 2000 sitting in a tree further south along the eastern side of the reservoir. However, when I returned at 11:00 AM, it was not to be found, either from the PA Route 380 overlook or from the PA Route 286 causeway. I still hope that they will return and build a nest at Beaver Run, but there is no evidence at this time that they will do so.


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