What Happened to the Eagle’s Nest?

I don’t know how many years the eagle’s nest at Trail’s End Campground sat in the treetop but it is no longer there. A friend told me he had visited the campground loop earlier this spring and didn’t see the nest.  I thought he was just looking in the wrong place but I had to go see for myself.

I walked to the campground and couldn’t see it from the road. I walked up onto the ridge behind the tree to look and I couldn’t see it from there.  I stood at a distance from every angle looking at every branch and still could not see the nest. I was shocked. Where could a nest that size go?  According to the web, a typical eagle’s nest is 5-6 feet in diameter and 3 feet tall.

As I got closer to the tree the nest had been in I found the answer to my question.  Scattered all over the forest floor were large sticks and branches that had obviously been a part of the nest.  The nest was no longer in the tree.

This made me super sad. For years we’ve watched eagles raise eaglets in the tree. For a few years the campsite loop was closed early in the season to protect the privacy of the nesting eagles but they didn’t need privacy.  They did just fine with the campsites being open. 

I’m not sure what caused the nest to fall from the tree.  There is some damage from the Ham Lake Fire in the trees nearby and possibly this allowed wind to get at the nest or maybe some of the lower limbs were compromised.  It doesn’t seem possible a nest that size could just fall on its own but I don’t have another explanation, do you?

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