Wild Bald Eagle Romances Bird In Zoo (Video)

Here’s an early Valentine’s Day story.  For more than a week, a wild bald eagle has shown his affection for a female bald eagle by visiting her twice a day at the Orange County Zoo in California. 


Employees at the zoo first noticed the rare bald eagle about a week and a half ago, sitting in a sycamore tree 15 feet away from the enclosure where 6-year-old Olivia resides.  Since then the two eagles have become very fond of each other with the male visiting the bird of his dreams each morning and afternoon.


Zoo manager Donald Zeigler reported that the wild eagle lands next to the eagle exhibit and the two birds squawk back and forth to each other.


According to the Los Angeles Times, bald eagles nearly went extinct in California in the 1960s, due in large part to the pesticide DDT.  The material caused the birds to lay eggs with extremely thin shells that were impossible to hatch. 


It is estimated that there are only a few hundred wild mating pairs in Southern California. 


Experts speculate that the male bird was probably having a hard time finding a mate, until he spotted Olivia.


However the romance between Olivia and her beau may be short-lived because the female bald eagle cannot be set free.  She is at the zoo because she suffered an injury to her eye in the wild and would not survive on her own.


The other interesting fact about Olivia’s suitor is that he may have been born in the wild.  Most of the bald eagles in Southern California have a tag on their wing that shows they were released from a restoration program on the nearby Channel Islands.  The eagle visiting Olivia does not have a tag.


The Orange County Zoo posted a video of the wild eagle and ever since bird-enthusiasts, photographers and sightseers have flocked to the park to get a glimpse of the two “love” birds.


Linda Jones, a wildlife photographer who has been visiting the zoo as much as possible over the past couple of weeks summed up the bird romance, “We know this is so rare…  You know he’s going to realize she’s in a cage and leave soon.  So you know it’s going to end.”





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William C
William C2 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

W. C
W. C3 months ago

Thank you for caring.

Jutta N.
Past Member 6 years ago

Sad story, pity she couldn't survive in the wild and must stay in captivity

Stacey Cadaret
Stacey Cadaret6 years ago

why would they want to release her because the 2 eagles have people flocking to the zoo to see them so now she is income maker for them just more money for the zoo

Stacey Cadaret
Stacey Cadaret6 years ago

went over to create petition section but wasn't sure really where to start as i never started one before just seems so sad for Olivia

Stacey Cadaret
Stacey Cadaret6 years ago

wild animals can adjust to having disability they should at least give her chance they could always put tracking device on her and if she is not doing well recapture her if needed we should start a petition to free her

Lee Jolliffe
Lee J6 years ago

Sharon, time for a follow-up on this story. Did the zoo work out something to allow our love-birds to get together? Are they still buddies?

Alison V.
Alison Venugoban6 years ago

There's another interpretation of this: the young male might be trying to take over the territory he thinks of as his, and drive the other occupying eagle away. Which could explain why he sits and squawks at her, he's hoping she'll leave and the territory will belong to him.

Beth B.
Beth B6 years ago

So sad...I wish they would set her free. I agree with Mary Ellen. In the wild animals suffer injuries continually and they manage to survive and go on. I think her chances of pro-creating are better in the wild with her beau than with another in captivity

Mary Ellen W.
Mary Wightman7 years ago

So sad. I wish she would be set free with him as well....I understand that she has an eye injury from the past, but I still think she should be able to be free. They think she may not make it in the wild, but no one knows for sure......and to me for a big beautiful creature like this, freedom would be the ultimate gift. It breaks my heart to think of her yearning to be free, to mate with him, knowing her only future is in her cage.
When I started in animal rescue, my heart worried for each and every dog and cat that wa adopted out--would their new "mom and dad" take as good of care of them as I did?...before I realized that I had to hope for the best that they would have a good life and knowing that they were out of their little 2x2x2 foot box and free to roam and run was so much more important. The animals I worked with were obviously domesticated animals, yet even with them, after a certain period of time, you see their personalities change if they have been overlooked by potential adopters for too long--they grow afraid, or angrier, or sometimes, they just seem to give up and not care. I can't imagine that a wild animal that POTENTIALLY could survive back in the wild doesn't feel the same way. I guess I feel the same about my own life as I do about the eagle---even if she may not survive long in the wild, I figure the quality of life lived is far more important than how long one lives for....