Even Bald Eagles find Innsbrook to be an extraordinary location to call home and raise a family by living in harmony with nature! According the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), year around residential American Bald Eagles remain unusual in the state of Missouri with only a handful of confirmed nesting pairs. Innsbrook is extremely fortunate to have resident eagles who have now nested and hatched a clutch of chicks for two years, 2015 & 2017.
Our two eagle chicks that hatched around the first of March will grow rapidly throughout the spring and should reach full maturity after a year reaching a weight of 7-8 pounds for a male or 10-12 pounds for a female eagle. The basic diet of the chicks is rodents, such as squirrels or mice, and fish brought to the nest by both parents. Typically it takes 2 – 3 fish a day to feed the brood of chicks. The young birds of prey will fledge from the nest some 75-80 days after birth but may still be fed by the parents for another 6 weeks.
After 25 days or so the next set of feathers will begin to emerge on the chicks, which will be dark brown in color. These will eventually grow into the very long flight feathers that give the juvenile eagle the appearance of being larger than their parents. These extra long feathers help the young eagle learn to fly. Once full-grown, the immature chicks maintain a molded brown/black feather pattern but without the recognizable white feathered head and tail until they reach full maturity in a few years.
The MDC reminds us that eagles are a protected species and their nest and immediate surrounding area are protected by state and federal statutes from being tampered with, threatened, or changed. As such, the location of the Innsbrook eagles’ nest will remain private to minimize unintentional interference from too many onlookers. We hope to make up for this by posting frequent updates and photos on this page, so come back often.
Seeing bald eagles flourish at Innsbrook brings delight to all who share in the awe of the beautiful bird of prey. Knowing that just a few decades ago, the use of pesticides like DDT created catastrophic impact on the thickness of the eagle’s eggshell thus reducing the number of American Bald Eagles and placing them on the endangered species list. Our eagles are gradually coming back which reminds us again of the importance of living in harmony with nature. At one time there were less than 500 nesting bald eagle pairs in the entire country. Today there are an estimated 10,000 nesting pairs, including over 200 across Missouri.
We are so truly fortunate to witness a bald eagle family at Innsbrook. But with that enjoyment comes great responsibility to maintain a habitat for them that is free of poisons and other hazards. This means avoiding the use of baited traps, poisoning rodents, lead contaminants, and insecticides/pesticides that can enter their food chain. Don’t leave trash on the beaches. Fishing enthusiasts should be especially careful not to leave hazards on the water or left in a fish not taken home.
You can find many sources of information on bald eagles including these select references at:
Here’s some of our favorite photographs courtesy and copyright of Innsbrook property owners Cindy Bowers and Allison Volk.