Fox River eaglets die after nest falls due to high winds

Nest had been in Lake County Forest Preserve for more than a decade; newly born eaglets did not survive the fall

High winds caused a nest of eaglets at the Fox River Marina to fall to the ground Saturday. The eaglets in the nest died in the fall.

Island Lake wildlife photographer Ken Wick confirmed that the nest was destroyed at about 7:40 p.m.

Located along the Fox River in the Lake County Forest Preserve near Roberts Road in an unincorporated area near Barrington, the nest had been around for more than a decade, he said.

On Facebook, Wick said the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Conservation Police authorized the rescue, while Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation went to the site, only to find the three newly born eaglets had perished in the collapse. Wick shared his eagle photos and post in our Suburban Wildlife Facebook group, where people expressed their sadness about the eaglets and destroyed nest.

He said the nest had been used by a pair of eagles who had spawned a minimum of 15 to 20 eaglets over the years.

He had recently photographed one of the baby eaglets poking its head above the nest.

When contacted Sunday, Wick said the eaglets in the nest, which had been built in a dead tree, were born just last week.

“They can weigh over a ton in some cases,” he said. “That one was a pretty big nest. My guess is it was definitely over a thousand pounds.”

Given the sandy soil, the fact that it was a dead tree, the weight of the nest and the wind, “It was kind of the perfect storm,” Wick said. “That’s an extremely successful pair that has been mating in that nest.”

Now that the nest is gone, they will have to find a new home.

“They don’t even have a tree to rebuild in,” he said.

Wick said he was crushed and heartbroken at the news.

“You build an attachment to them,” he said.