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🦅 We’ve got an eaglet in the Dorman nest

Congratulations are in order to the longtime residents of the Dorman Avenue eagles nest, who’ve welcomed at least one new baby eaglet into their expansive family tree.

Longfellow Whatever
4 min read
🦅 We’ve got an eaglet in the Dorman nest
The Dorman eagles with an eaglet in May of 2022 | 📸: Peter Koeleman

Congratulations are in order to the longtime residents of the Dorman Avenue eagles nest, who’ve welcomed at least one new baby eaglet into their expansive family tree.

The pair of birds produce eaglets most years, but not all. Eager onlookers have been seeing promising signs the past few weeks, and finally, got the payoff of seeing at least one nestling poke its head above the steep nest walls.  

Background

The nest is perched high up in a white pine tree, hanging between two handsome Spanish Eclectic homes on West River Road, and is best viewed from Dorman Avenue between 43rd and 44th Avenue. (For this reason, it pairs well with a walk to Dairy Queen.) A nest of that size can fit a whole family of eagles and affords good views of the river gorge where the keen-eyed birds do most of their hunting.

It's common to see curious onlookers on that block craning for a view. As the foliage emerges in the spring, the sightlines become more restricted, requiring even more jockeying and squinting. (Obviously, it's important to be considerate of the people whose homes you're lingering in front of.) For one neighbor I met recently, it's a real-life companion to the eagle cams he watches online. Another visits regularly from Cedar-Riverside despite having another nest closer to home. For people living nearby, the annual eagle milestones rank up there with the weather and gardening for small talk fodder.

A motley crew of eagle watchers assembled Wednesday evening

Neighborhood photographer Peter Koeleman first heard about the nest in 2011, after retiring from his career as a photojournalist for the Star Tribune. Like many, he was quickly swept up in the daily drama of the eagles raising their young and tending to their home. For several years he stopped by to photograph the nest almost every day, eventually befriending the owner of a home a few doors down who let him set up his tripod in the driveway.

A juvenile eagle in the Dorman nest, enjoying a meal alongside its sibling | 📸: Peter Koeleman

After amassing thousands of photos, Peter, at the urging of friends, decided to memorialize the highlights in a book. He recruited his neighbor and local artist Christy Binoniemi to write accompanying prose in the style of a children's fairytale, and they published "The Eagles of Longfellow: Longing for Flight" in 2016.