John Bunker Sands Wetland Center sits on a hill outside of Seagoville overlooking one of the largest man-made wetlands in the U.S.
On the other side of the 800-acre wetland two bald eagles and their two eggs have homesteaded on a large metal tower. The eaglets will hatch in March and head to cooler climates by June.
The wetlands are part of the North Texas Municipal Water District’s water reuse system. Water discharged from wastewater treatment plants upriver is pumped through a series of marsh-like ponds where nature removes additional impurities before the water is recycled. A byproduct of the natural water treatment facility is that wetlands make excellent wildlife habitat. Bird-watching at the wetland is phenomenal.
It wasn’t much of a surprise when the pair of eagles set up house near the wetlands in 2011. Unfortunately, they built their VW Bug-size nest on an electrical transmission line tower. After they left for the summer, the electric company unbolted the arm with the nest, and attached it to a decoy tower on the center’s property a safe distance from the lines.
When the eagle couple returned in September they went straight for the original tower. Without much hesitation they moved into the old nest on the new tower and have been returning annually since.
The JBS Wetland Center is in Seagoville, 25 miles southwest of Dallas. The center and wetlands are open to the public on the first and third Saturdays of the month. At best, the closest visitors can get to the eagles’ nest is still a good binocular view away, or you can find the live-cam feed at www.wetlandcenter.com/eagles.html.