they're back...the Eagles return to Smith Rock State Park
March 26, 2018
It's that time of the year again when we watch the watchers. The eagle nest watchers that is. We now have an update on both the bald and golden eagles. Smith Rock is unique in that both species share a relatively small area each year to breed.
The golden eagles' nest is a bit of a challenge to spot. While golden eagle activity has been going on since January, watchers Interpretative Ranger David Vick and Park Volunteer Naturalist Steve Lay could not find the nest they were using. Perched high on the walls of the Monument Area, they finally spotted it this week on the formation called “Little Three Fingered Jack”. Ranger David has not seen it used in the 30 years he has been observing. They suspect that there was a nest there previously and they never noticed it, as It is pretty inconspicuous. And since they don’t know when she laid eggs, they have no clue about a hatching date. Typically golden eagles in the park hatch in early April.
The bald eagles return each year to the nest in a giant ponderosa off of the Canyon Trail in the river canyon below.
Bivy Campground Canyon Rim tent sites are now closed as of February 6, 2018. Look for the posted signs in the affected areas. The rest of the campground is open, with only a few tent sites closed along the rim. If you'd like to photograph these magnificent creatures, please contact the Park Manager at 541-548-7501.
Also, please observe the Bald Eagle Courtesy signs along the Canyon Trail. Essentially in the sensitive areas marked, the park is asking the following:
*KEEP NOISE TO A MINIMUM
*DO NOT LOITER & STAY ON TRAIL
*TRAVEL IN GROUPS OF 4 OR LESS
Both amateurs, as well as world-famous wildlife photographers, have come to Smith Rock on a yearly basis to get amazing shots. Again, please help keep this wonderful event happening each year by contacting the Park Manager at 541-548-7501 if you'd like to set up on the rim to photograph them.
Ranger David looked at the nest on March 24 and saw the adults switch places, although he did not see the eggs or any juveniles. In the past the bald eagles in the park have hatched around the last week of March.