WV Press InSight Videos

Sighting of bald eagle pair a special Christmas gift

This bald eagle pair was at Tygart Valley River, eating a Christmas meal from around 8 a.m. to noon last Wednesday. Bill Kruczak and his neighbor Norm Kalob watched the eagles fly and eat all morning.
This bald eagle pair was at Tygart Valley River, eating a Christmas meal from around 8 a.m. to noon last Wednesday. Bill Kruczak and his neighbor Norm Kalob watched the eagles fly and eat all morning.

By Colleen S. Good
Times West Virginian

FAIRMONT, W.Va. — Bald eagles are becoming more and more common in West Virginia.

Bill Kurczak of Pleasant Valley snapped a photo of some bald eagles grabbing breakfast Christmas morning.

“My neighbor Norm Kalob knocked on my door early on Christmas morning, and said I have something to show you,” Kurczak wrote in an email. “As we stepped out onto the deck, he pointed across the river to a pair of eagles having a Christmas breakfast on a rather large fish.”

Kruczak said the pair spent the next four hours flying and eating around Tygart Valley River, leaving the area around noon.

Michael Book, founder and executive director of the West Virginia Raptor Rehabilitation Center, was able to give some more information on the nation’s national bird.

Adult bald eagles have distinctive white heads and brown bodies, while baby and adolescent bald eagles are brown all over. Females are generally larger than males and usually have larger beaks. This is also true with other birds of prey.

The birds usually nest when they are a few years old, but throughout their adolescence, they like to wander. Once they settle down, they will pick a territory.

“They’ll take a territory, and stay there to raise their young,” Book said. “They’re very territorial. Within a couple miles, or three miles, or even more, they’re not going to be right next to each other, like osprey are.”

Bald eagles typically have between one and two offspring. They will start to fly a bit in June. They will stay home while they perfect their fishing skills through September, and then they’ll be off on their own, Book said.

Book said that there were two strong possibilities for the identity of this particular bald eagle pair.

First, there is a nesting pair that has lived on Tygart Lake for around three years. They could have decided to come down to the river for their Christmas meal…

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