Tom Woeste hopes two recently installed nest platforms in The Colony are the perfect homes for bald eagles seeking to raise families.
The CoServ Member and longtime construction engineer hatched the idea for the platforms after viewing a YouTube video of an eagle’s nest near Seagoville being moved to a safer tower in 2014. On Sept. 28, after more than a year of planning, the platforms went up on federal property in The Tribute, just off Lewisville Lake.
“I’m doing this because I’m a nature lover,” said Tom, who coordinated the project with representatives from CoServ, The Colony, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Frisco Lumber donated supplies and Boy Scouts from Troop 298 in Frisco helped build platforms. CoServ contributed two utility poles, as well as the manpower and machinery needed to install them.
Just above the tree line, the nest platforms are located where eagles are known to migrate for the winter and occasionally raise their young in the spring. (A pair of bald eagles have eaglets across Lewisville Lake from The Tribute inside the Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area in Lewisville.)
A Texas Parks and Wildlife Naturalist helped select the platform locations, away from popular trails on property managed by the Corps of Engineers within The Colony city limits. Situated on a peninsula, the 40-foot platforms will be near water and in an area where they aren’t likely to be disturbed.
In 2005, Texas Parks and Wildlife noted about 160 pairs of eagles raising young in Texas. Eagles can grow up to 3 feet tall with a wingspan of 6 to 8 feet. They nest from October to July and generally have two eggs in a clutch. Incubation usually lasts 34 to 36 days with the eaglets flying at 11 to 12 weeks of age. Eagles mate for life and return to the same nesting area each season.
Reports of eagles flying near the manmade nests show promise. Having more eagles settle in North Texas is the ultimate goal.
“This is something I just had an idea about and wanted to try,” Tom said. “I’m trying to entice an eagle pair to come and build their nest. If they can do it in Arizona and California, we can do it in Texas.”