A few active nests are readily visible while others may take a bit more patience to locate amid the branches. Following is a summary of some in four southwestern Indiana and in two counties in northern Kentucky.
Here's the area rundown:
--two in Vanderburgh County
--five in Posey County
--four in Gibson County
--one in Warrick County
--four in northern Kentucky within a half-hour's drive of Evansville.
If you go on a search, stay on public roads where you'll not disturb these precious birds.
If you know of other active bald eagle nests within 30 to 45 minutes of Evansville that are visible from publicly accessible roads, please notify me through the comment section below.
a few facts about nesting eagles
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Bald eagles mature at about age four or five. At that point the have pure white heads and tails and are ready to breed.
--Bald eagles mate for life; but at the loss of its mate, either sex will take another mate.
--Bald eagle average lifespan in the wild is up to 28 years.
--Bald eagles sometimes "play house" during the first year of maturity, building a nest, occasionally visiting the nest, but not laying eggs.
--In a high percentage of cases, the pair will return the following year to the "play-house" nest, add to it, and raise a family.
--Bald eagles typically reuse the same nest year after year, adding to it each year.
--A completed nest averages about five feet in diameter.
--The record bald eagle nest was 9.5 ft. wide and 20 ft. high and weighed more than two tons.
--Bald eagles usually lay two eggs but triplets are not unheard of (including a trio at Hovey Lake FWA several years ago).
--Bald eagles tend to stay in the area in which they were raised.
While actually in Kentucky, another nest is readily visible from downtown Evansville, from the foot of Main Street, directly across the Ohio River on the Kentucky shore. While eagles mate for life, new pairs sometimes "play house" their first year, building a nest, visiting it from time to time, but not actually nesting. In a high percentage of cases, however, the birds will return to the nest in future years, complete it, and raise a family.
Vanderburgh County has is first documented active bald eagle nest this year (2014), situated near Eagle Slough Nature Preserve.
While the nest is not actually inside nature preserve boundaries, the birds are often seen soaring from the property.
Big Cypress Slough in far western Posey County houses one of the larger active nests. Visible from near the intersection of Graddy and Bonebank Roads. The photo above shows the view from the road. While one bird is almost always on the nest (right), you may find the other perched or soaring nearby.
Other Gibson County Sites
In addition to the Snakey Point nest, another active nest is readily visible from I-69 near the Petersburg Exit. (Note that it is illegal to stop along the Interstate.)
Another nest remains active on Duke Energy property just east of the power plant's private entrance/guard house. From SR 64 west of Princeton, turn south at the blinking traffic light signal onto CR 950 W and follow it to the entrance.
Warrick County probably has more than one active bald eagle nest visible from publicly accessible roads, but the only one I'm familiar with is just west of the Blue Grass FWA boundary, near I-164.
To find the nest, take Boonville-New Harmony Road east from I-164 and turn on the first road south (just past the power substation). Study the line of trees to the west, toward I-164. You'll need good binoculars or a spotting scope.
If you know of other active Warrick County eagle nests visible from publicly accessible roads, notify me via the comments section below and I'll verify and post the information.
Northern kentucky: henderson and union counties
Long a favorite watch spot at Audubon Wetlands, the eagle nest due north from Wolf Hills Road, between the road and the Ohio River, remains active this year.
Great Blue Heron nests surrounded the eagle nest but were not active last year because the herons moved their preferred nest site farther east. It remains to be seen if a few herons may reuse this site this summer.
A third nest is on Anderson Pond, visible from the Sauerheber Observation Tower 4 miles west of Geneva
The Hardy Slough nest is most readily visible at Sauerheber. Follow Hwy 268 from Geneva about three miles. Hardy Slough is on the left. If you pass Tram Road to the north, you've gone too far.
The largest visible active nest in Sauerheber sits along Gentle Pond. To find a vantage point for the Gentle Pond nest, take Hwy 268 about 5 1/2 miles north of Geneva to an unmarked refuge road to the south (left). Follow it to a "Y" and stay southward. The nest is on the west (right) side.