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Bald eagle family lures bird-watchers to Cook County forest preserve

A bald eagle returns to the nest -- and his waiting mate -- with a large fish in his talons. The nesting pair and their brood have made their home in Tampier Slough Woods forest preserve in Cook County's Palos Township.

A bald eagle returns to the nest -- and his waiting mate -- with a large fish in his talons. The nesting pair and their brood have made their home in Tampier Slough Woods forest preserve in Cook County's Palos Township.

On a small stretch of road in southwest suburban Palos Township, a steady stream of birders and nature lovers clambered on the rocky terrain last week to lay eyes on a rare sight.

They strained and peered through powered scopes into the Tampier Slough Woods forest preserve, where, in a leafless cottonwood about 500 yards away, a dark blob morphed into clear view: a statuesque American bald eagle resting proudly over her newly hatched babies.

“I never thought I’d see anything like it,” said John Fletcher, of Palos Heights. “It’s incredible.”

Acting on a tip from a bird-watcher, officials with the Cook County Forest Preserve District and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spotted the nesting pair last month and confirmed that the mother had indeed laid two to three eggs. Though there have been other sightings of bald eagle nests in the Chicago area, it is believed that this is the first publicly viewable site where eggs have been laid and hatched in Cook County in more than a century, according to forest preserve officials.

Read more at the Chicago Tribune.

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