A Bald Eagle Over Kelly Lake—Seen It?

Have you see a bald eagle near Green Valley Road or Kelly Lake?

One of the coolest things about living in a semi-rural area like Watsonville is the abundance of wildlife that's all around us: A day doesn't go buy when you don't spot a red-tailed hawk on the hunt. And it's uncommon to *not* see quail or rabbits during a drive (or a run) out on Calabasas.

After the shift change at dusk, we're always lulled to sleep by acres of frogs and crickets near the bend of Buena Vista Drive by the airport, while coyotes howl and bark in the foothills near Hecker Pass.

But it's the unusual that really catches your attention. A few months back, a praying mantis graced us with his (her?) prescence in our backyard. That was a first.

And yesterday, after a long fun weekend of gigs—hosting a sold out Keith Greeninger show in Corralitos on Friday, playing a fun set at Trail Dust BBQ in Morgan Hill on Saturday, and then playing in church on Sunday morning—I saw another first: I looked up, and over Green Valley Road, I thought the sun was playing tricks on my and glaring off a hawk. Then I realized I was looking at a bald eagle. A huge bald eagle. (I could estimate its size, but I'd embarrassingly overestimate it. Let's just say it was a big bird.)

I was born and raised here. This was the first time I've ever seen a bald eagle in Watsonville. And me without my camera. I posted a quick comment on Facebook. Some other folks have seen this bird as well, near Kelly Lake

So that's sorta the point of this post: Has anyone else spotted this gorgeous bird flying over south county? If so, were you lucky enough to snap a picture?

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Cathy P. February 28, 2012 at 06:18 PM
I've never seen a bald eagle in our neck of the woods but about a month ago, I was driving south on 101, near Dunn in Morgan Hill and looked up and saw a bald eagle flying over the freeway. About a year ago, I saw 2 flying above me while driving on Uvas Road (going towards Watsonville Road). If you want to see bald eagles, you should visit Alaska. They follow the fishing boats like the seagulls do here. It's awesome.
Michael Gaither February 28, 2012 at 06:20 PM
I've seen them up north, near the San Juan islands. Stunning birds, they are. Was just happily stunned to see one of them flying overhead down our way. ;)
Cathy P. February 28, 2012 at 06:23 PM
I'll keep an eye out for them too. Thanks for the heads up.
John Dickie March 01, 2012 at 09:18 PM
A pair of bald eagles have been roosting in our backyard trees which backs up to the NW side of Pinto Lake. They have been around for about a month. I think they are young adults (~4 years) and trying to figure out the nest thing. I would be surprised if they nest in the area due to the human activity, but who knows! Yes, it's very unusual!
Michael Gaither March 01, 2012 at 10:59 PM
Nice. I was just across the street/road from Pinto Lake when we saw the one eagle on Sunday. I assume it's part of the same pair. And I hope they figure out the nesting thing. Very cool to have them hanging around. And as someone said at yesterday's Patch party, this is a big birding town, so having a pair of bald eagles around is pretty special.
Denise Murphy March 06, 2012 at 04:57 PM
My husband and I watched a nesting pair for about three hours yesterday at Pinto Lake. It must be the pair that John Dickie mentions above. Both birds were observed fixing twigs etc on the nest and returning with food or nest material. It feels very special to have them here in Watsonville. There is a small 'beach flat' area adjacent to the Virgin Mary memorial right before the boardwalk. If you look straight across into the eucalyptus trees, the very large next sticks out among the rest of the nests from last years herons, egrets and cormorants. Bring your binoculars because sometimes they are camouflaged very well and don't always hang out in the nest. Please remind your friends that the Bald Eagle is a federally protected bird and any harm done to these magnificant creatures could land one in jail. Collecting of their feathers is also prohibited.
Michael Gaither March 06, 2012 at 07:20 PM
Way cool. I think me and the wife are taking a walk around Pinto Lake this afternoon. Thanks, Dennis.
vikki golsh-cervantes March 08, 2012 at 10:09 PM
I spotted a eagle in dec.I told my husband,we decided it wasnt.So special.vikki bridge st. watsonville
Santa Jerry March 29, 2012 at 08:49 PM
> From Dave Newberry: > Here is the site for the live eagle nest webcam. > http://www.ustream.tv/channel-popup/decorah-eagles
Santa Jerry March 30, 2012 at 02:14 AM
Sorry! I got the link from a friend in Corralitos and just assumed it was our local birds. The Decorah eagles are actually in Minnesota.
jerry bens April 02, 2012 at 02:59 AM
I saw a bald eagle flying over head with a turky hawk flying buddy ...I was so lucky to see it.... I like observing birds ...and from my experience I have notice that the most amazing birds are not so commonly seen unless you are in the Amazon jungle in the morning or afternoon . I live on top of a hill on smith rd. up above spring hills golf coarse .....I wonder if we all are seeing the same eagle...I didn't even know there were eagles in watsonville....................Jerry :)
Denise Murphy April 02, 2012 at 07:59 PM
There are at least three Bald Eagles. One of them looks about a year younger than the other two. They've been spotted over the other lakes in Watsonville. I would confidently say that you've seen one of the three. The eagles are fairly new residents. We spotted a juvenile over Pinto Lake City Park about a year ago and I've overheard some say they have been distantly spotted on rare occasion for the past three years. These are believed to be the offspring of a breeding program in Big Sur about 20 years ago but no one knows for sure. There are also 2 pair of Osprey at Pinto Lake County Park which make appearances often. And if you really like birding, I recommend getting out the Struve Slough next to West Marine. Its a great place, especially now, during the migration to spot birds that are not here year round. The Nature Center behind Ramsey Park does bird walks on Sundays at 1 or 1:30pm.
Michelle Deering March 17, 2014 at 02:35 PM
I saw one Bald Eagle, flying high, near Airport and the High Way 1. It was last Wednesday, the 12th. I took a double take and asked my husband if what I was seeing was correct. He thought it was a seagull. I said it was to big and had all the markings of a Bald Eagle. This exciting!
Michael Gaither March 17, 2014 at 05:54 PM
Nice. We saw one of them yesterday morning as we were driving along Green Valley Road.


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