Dateline – November 15, 2021 – Lewisville, Texas
There’s nothing especially unusual about a Bald Eagle in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. It’s been well established—for a number of years now—that they are present here. A certain number of these eagles live here year round, and there are even more in the winter when northern eagles shift their operations south as cold weather begins to set in.
But it’s still a little unusual to see one… especially away from places in the metroplex that they are known to frequent.
Dallas/Fort Worth area Bald Eagles are most commonly found along the Trinity River and around many of our man-made lakes and reservoirs. This is not surprising, as fish make up a large part of their diet. In addition, our local eagles appear to have a preference for places where the lake or river water is relatively shallow, as that likely makes catching fish a little easier for them.
The Bald Eagle in the pictures below is a little different. This one was photographed in Lewisville, Texas. He was perched on a tall transmission tower well away from the Trinity River—but still close enough that you can be reasonably sure that he had only wandered away from the river briefly.
Bald Eagles have been breeding the Dallas/Fort Worth area for some time now, and There are a number of nesting sites scattered around the metroplex, and every few years I will hear about the discovery of a new one. In fact, there is at least one known nest site in Lewisville. All of this bodes well for the eagle population in DFW, and it’s reasonable to expect their numbers will increase in the years to come.
But there are a few complicating factors. Bald Eagles construct huge nests, and prefer to build them in places with commanding views near their favorite hunting grounds. There are certainly only a limited number of places that meet these criteria in Dallas/Fort Worth. Further, It takes around five years for Bald Eagles to reach sexual maturity. Sometimes, it can take a mated pair a couple of additional years to develop the parental skills they need to have success with a brood.
What that means is we may only be two or three generations generations into repopulating the Dallas/Fort Worth area with eagles. As a consequence, the number of Bald Eagles in the metroplex is likely poised to rise more rapidly with each passing year. Hopefully, this will lead to more frequent sightings. And in that sense, maybe this Lewisville Bald Eagle is a harbinger of good things to come!