Since 2007, Masonville Cove has become a thriving natural area among Baltimore’s urban landscape that attracts a variety of wildlife, including fishes, reptiles, amphibians and birds. Recently, a very special pair of visitors decided to call the refuge home—a pair of bald eagles!
Bald eagles have been spotted at Masonville Cove before, but this is the first time they’ve nested on the property. The eagles built their nest high in a sycamore tree about 300 feet from the water’s edge. Bald eagles are known to nest in tall trees like this to allow for easy flight access and good visibility of their surroundings.
Bald eagles build their nests by weaving sticks together and filling in any cracks with grass or cornstalk. They line the inside of the nest with woody materials, then top it with downy feathers. It can take up to three months for an eagle pair to build a nest.
Bald eagles may return to the same nest year after year, adding to its size as the years progress. Experts think this means Masonville Cove could serve as a long-term home for the new bald eagle residents.
Bald eagles tend to nest for 56 to 98 days and lay anywhere from one to three eggs at a time. The eggs incubate for about a month before they hatch. Experts suspect there are eggs in the nest at Masonville Cove, and if all goes well, there may be eaglets in the coming months!
The partners at Masonville Cove are working to minimize disturbance to the nesting eagles in compliance with the National Bald Eagle Nest Protection guidelines. This means that access to the nesting area will be limited during breeding season, and Masonville Cove staff will be monitoring the birds’ behavior to assess whether additional restrictions are needed.
The Masonville Cove Project is a partnership between the Maryland Port Administration, Maryland Environmental Service, The Living Classrooms Foundation, the Brooklyn and Curtis Bay Coalition, and the National Aquarium.
Learn more about the National Aquarium’s conservation work at Masonville Cove!