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Bald eagles at Standley Lake Regional Park hatch eggs after several unsuccessful breeding attempts

  • the Denver Gazette

  • Apr 23, 2024

Photo source: Standley Lake Regional Park

Following multiple years of unsuccessful mating attempts, a pair of bald eagles at Standley Lake Regional Park have finally produced three eaglets, officials announced via social media on Tuesday.

According to park officials, this is the first time the pair of bald eagles have successfully produced offspring since 2017.

In a previous social media post, the wildlife refuge said the female, known as F420, laid eggs on Feb. 18 — this was the first time the pair has had an egg on their nest after losing their eaglets in 2023 for the third year in a row, Denver Gazette news partner 9News reported last April.

The Standley Lake eagles first gained popularity in 2016 due to a live camera which allowed anyone in the world to watch the eagles' daily lives. However, in 2021, the tree that supported their nest split down the middle, causing the nest to collapse, and killing their lone offspring. The nest collapse prompted the pair to migrate deeper into the wildlife refuge out of range of live cameras.

The National Audubon Society, a non-profit organization dedicated to conservation of birds and their habitats, states that incubation duties are split between both parents and typically takes 34-36 days. At least one parent remains with the nest for the first two weeks. The age of an eagle’s first flight typically occurs at 10-12 weeks.

Officials at Standley Lake Regional Park say that the oldest of the three eaglets is approximately 26 days old, with a wingspan 2-3 feet and a weight of around 3-4lbs.

Despite the joyful announcement, park officials encourage the public at large to give the animals space while they rear the three young eaglets.

According to regulations outlined by Colorado Parks and Wildlife, no human activity is permitted within certain radii of active bald eagle nests or winter night roosts during critical times of the year to minimize disturbance. For nests, this means no activity within a half mile of the nest from December 1 to July 31, with an even larger buffer recommended if chicks are present beyond July 31. In highly developed areas, these buffers are reduced to one quarter of a mile.

Officials at Standley Lake Regional Park said the eaglets are eating and growing rapidly and that they hope to obtain photos of the animals soon. 

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