Bald eagles, once threatened with extinction, are reportedly nesting near Irvine Lake in Silverado.
The Riverside Press-Enterprise has the scoop, under the byline of Gail Wesson and the Orange County Register's longtime science scribe Pat Brennan, who sources say has taken the buyout.
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Bald eagle haven't been in Orange County since the 1920s at Laguna Beach, according to the report that pinpoints their new location as being off the 241 toll road. A pair has been breeding at Irvine Lake since 2011, returning from parts north to raise two chicks per season. The parents and chicks were reportedly spotted there on May 30.
The population of bald eagles sharply declined due to the pesticide DDT having accumulated in their tissues, causing them to lay eggs with shells so thin they could not hatch viable offspring. Eagles have slowly recovered since DDT was banned in the early 1970s.
"This pair came from the north somewhere, we don't know why or how," says Scott Thomas, a raptor expert who has been monitoring birds of prey in Orange County for 20 years, in the article. "It's a range expansion, back into where they were supposed to be."