Eagles Hatch for First Time at Potato Creek SP

A pair of bald eagles have produced offspring at Potato Creek State Park. The birds hatched three eaglets in a remote area, according to park officials. They say this is the fourth straight spring a bald eagle pair has nested at the park and the first time they have produced offspring. Park officials suspect they are the same pair that has nested unsuccessfully but can’t confirm it. They were ousted by osprey in 2012 and 2013. Last year they built a nest but did not hatch any eggs.

The view of their nest will soon be blocked by leaves. However, visitors can look for the eagles as they swoop down over Worster Lake to catch fish for their young. The best observation spots are the fishing pier by the Porter Rea Cemetery and the East Boat Launch.

The chicks should be ready to fly by late June. They will disperse and wander around North America for four years this fall. They will return to the area where they hatch when they are four to five years old to find a mate and nest.

Potato Creek is also home to four nesting pairs of ospreys this year. That is the highest concentration of any area in Indiana. Nesting osprey pairs are outnumbered by nesting eagles by a ratio of about 4-to-1 in Indiana.

Adult bald eagles can be distinguished from osprey by their white tail and white head. Ospreys have a brown stripe through their eye and a dark tail. Visitors are encouraged to view the bald eagles and all wildlife from a distance.

Photo courtesy of Mike Bourdon of South Bend.