Female half of famous Shiloh Park bald eagle nesting pair missing, two eaglets dead

The eagle pair that has been nesting for 14 years at Shiloh National Military Park has had a tragedy this year. The female, on the left in this photo by Jai Johnson, has been missing since early last week.

In their 14th residential year at Shiloh Battlefield, the bald eagle nesting pair popularly known as Hiram and Julia had two hatchings take place last week.
However, the female eagle has now gone mysteriously absent.
“The last picture taken of her was on Monday evening, March 1,” said Chris Mekow, Shiloh National Military Park ranger.
Since the hatchings, there have been a series of intrusions on the nest and in the nesting area.
“Our adult male has been seen taking on two full grown eagles. They’ve been fighting in the sky and making a lot of racket,” said Mekow.
With the female bird missing, the male eagle has been too occupied defending his nesting territory to care for the two eaglets, and now both have died, he explained.
“We don’t have any idea what happened to the female,” Mekow said. “The eagle couple has had a lot of luck raising young over the years. This is unfortunate.”

32 Comments

  1. Shelby Wilkerson on March 9, 2021 at 5:55 pm

    My friend and I saw a eagle at counce last Friday on that levee going toward Shiloh. Are there any more eagles around our area besides those at the park.

    • Bridget Briley on March 22, 2021 at 2:30 pm

      Yes we live out Burnt Church and my husband and we seen 6 bald eagles at one time in a field off Hwy 203. They were eating on a dead baby deer carcus. I couldnt believe my eyes. They were beautiful.

  2. Linda Wells on March 9, 2021 at 8:00 pm

    Interested in info.

    • Cheryl on March 12, 2021 at 5:25 pm

      I had watched on love the eagle Julie on the nest, was thinking of how brave and good mother to sit her eggs. This is sad to hear this, I hope she will return, loss of the babies is heartbreaking. Prayers🙏for Hirams, mate, Julie to return. I hope the area is being searched.

  3. Debbie on March 9, 2021 at 8:40 pm

    I am so sad to hear this.If this is the one I was watching online Im not sure.Very heartbreaking to know the babies died.And wheres mom..I hope she comes back.Prayers to him for survival..

  4. Lisa McFarland on March 9, 2021 at 9:45 pm

    Wonder if thats the eagle that has been in rehabilitation they are about to release her soon

  5. Barb Kull on March 9, 2021 at 10:18 pm

    This is awful… But this is NATURE!!

    • Sandy McTemp on March 11, 2021 at 7:06 am

      I hope female is alive and returns soon, so very sad.

  6. Belinda on March 9, 2021 at 11:31 pm

    I hope Julia is ok. I feel bad the eaglets died

  7. Sue on March 9, 2021 at 11:37 pm

    The nest in Southwestern Florida cameras are showing almost nightly GH owl attacks on the nest. The owl has knocked the male off his perch numerous times and I’m always afraid he will break a wing. The other night the owl about picked up the female eagle off the nest. Another time the owl knocked the female into the nest off her perch early in the morning. They can’t hear or see the owls until it’s too late. Perhaps the owls have been attacking these two at night and the female was injured. So sad when one of these magnificent birds disappears and we don’t know why..:(

    • Janet Walter on March 10, 2021 at 8:57 am

      So very sad. My heart breaks for these eagles. So very very sad.

    • Lisa on March 10, 2021 at 2:32 pm

      Sue – the SWFL nest is a-okay – there’s a GHO nest nearby protecting their young (if I read some other sites correctly) and they’re just trying to protect their young owlet from the Harriet & M15. H&M are a-okay. They’ve just had a LOT of nightly hits from the owls (they’re silent and they see very well in the dark where the bald eagles don’t see as well in the dark).

      • Susan on March 10, 2021 at 6:09 pm

        Your post caught my eye only because we’ve had the same thing happening up here in Pittsburgh, Pa. We have a pair of eagles that have had a GH Owl 🦉 knocking the male eagle off his perch at night while he is watching over his mate sitting on the eggs. This has happened a couple nights in a row. I haven’t heard if anyone has mentioned if the owl has a nest.

      • Susan on March 10, 2021 at 7:48 pm

        Apparently the GHO attacks on the SWFL nest is the owls protecting the owlets in their nest. C.R.O.W. rescued one of the owlets that fell from the nest recently and are rehabilitating it.

    • Barbara on March 10, 2021 at 3:05 pm

      Seems like a good time to make some owl stew.

      • Sara on March 10, 2021 at 4:18 pm

        Not cute and not funny. These are all animals doing what animals do. lets not encourage people to kill owls.

    • Ralph Beams on March 11, 2021 at 3:15 pm

      Speculation is she was injured in a fight with another eagle and couldnt get back to the nest. Ive been following this pair for several years and never heard of or seen an owl around the nest.

  8. Char on March 10, 2021 at 7:12 am

    I have so enjoyed the posts this year from the park and by doing so have learned so much about raptors… I hope that this will get resolved. thank you for your commitment to the park and sorry for the loss of a beautiful raptor

  9. Kathryn Perry on March 10, 2021 at 9:23 am

    I know it’s nature, and there isn’t much humans can do, but this just breaks my heart.

  10. Anne Nau on March 10, 2021 at 12:41 pm

    Could very well be lead poisoning……at this time of year we unfortunately see a lot of it when eagles eat gut piles from game shot with lead shot or lead fishing lures in fish they eat. There isn’t much that can take down a full-grown eagle as badly as this……it is VERY hard to rehab them from this, and it takes months. If she had it, it would take her down pretty quickly. I pray this isn’t the case, but I just know what our state numbers show for eagle deaths.

  11. TWillie on March 10, 2021 at 2:51 pm

    A GH owl has been attacking the Hays nest in Pittsburgh lately; same deal-knocking them off their perch and nest in the middle of the night. The camera has caught the action, although when the Owl attacks it is a blur because it is moving so fast. So far, these 2 eagles are holding their own and 3 eggs ok. This pair has laid 21 eggs and raise 13 eaglets since nesting in 2013 and has had to rebuild the nest twice after storms. Rooting for the eagles!

    • Roger Crouthamel on March 10, 2021 at 10:26 pm

      I didn’t know anybody in Pittsburgh rooted for the Eagles.

      • Virginia Southard on March 11, 2021 at 10:29 pm

        Ok. That was funny 😄
        I’m a big fan of the Cornell/ wild Birds Unlimited Barred Owl Cam in Indiana.
        I love the way tech has opened a window into the lives of these birds and animals. It’s led my children to do more research about them.

      • Regina Saxton on March 12, 2021 at 12:05 am

        LOL that is!

  12. Amy on March 11, 2021 at 1:43 am

    I am SO HEARTBROKEN to hear this!
    If the Eagle pair have been nesting in a Military
    Park their should be cameras, especially the
    area within and around to figure out
    what has happened, this is our NATIONAL
    BIRD we are talking about!!💔

  13. Macky on March 11, 2021 at 8:38 am

    I know it’s the wild but that never eases my grief. I am so, so sorry to know this has happened.

  14. Brenda Demasi on March 11, 2021 at 1:06 pm

    Very sad and tragic, not like mom to not come back to her eaglets. Hope she returns soon.

  15. Beth on March 11, 2021 at 1:20 pm

    Has anyone checked with any wildlife rehabilitation centers to see if they have received any new female eagles since she was last seen? With injury or lead poisoning being one of the largest reason Raptors are being brought into centers, it maybe a good place to start.

  16. Bernadette Bellerjeau on March 11, 2021 at 3:22 pm

    20 years living on the Vilas Bird sanctuary in Cape May New Jersey showed me many incidences of howOwls live a very Shadowy life in the bird world. We had a little feeder in our front yard and had to take it down because the owls were using it as a hunting ground it was like shooting fish in a barrel. I saw when a young owlet fell from its nest every Adult bird in the area attacked it. What seemed uncharacteristic and cruel To me was just these birds looking at a potential predator. Mother nature is not pretty even when we put it on TV.

  17. Janina on March 21, 2021 at 2:08 am

    This is sad. But would also like info on how my family can watch these beautiful bird’s.( Is there a website) Thank you.

  18. Jim on March 25, 2021 at 10:18 pm

    Sad. Live in Orange Beach, AL and all we have here are owls. On a happier note, my wife and I went on an Amy Grant Alaska cruise for a week, where she (and some friends) provided the nightly entertainment. We went on a tour on the White Rail Line from Skagway up to the Klondike Gold Fields Park. On our way back to the ship, the tide was out, stranding all sorts of fish in the mud flat of a slough, off the fjord. There were about 100 bald eagles chowing on the fish! I’m well-traveled and have seen my share of eagles-Montana, Wyoming and such, but I certainly had never seen 100 in one place! It was cool!

  19. Renaté Bimbi on June 23, 2021 at 7:58 pm

    Is there any update on Julia? Did she ever return or was she recovered? Did Hiram find another mate?

Leave a Comment