The recent tornado outbreak in Oklahoma was not only devastating to the people who live in the state, but also the wildlife. In fact, a local bald eagle population saw a large amount of destruction after the storms. A number of bald eagle nests, eggs, and newborn baby chicks were destroyed by the tornado that swept through Sand Springs, Oklahoma.
A population of bald eagles nests in the River City Park in Sand Springs. The eagles have been nesting in the area with baby chicks beginning to hatch. However, on Wednesday, an EF-2 tornado ripped through the eagles’ habitat. The tornado destroyed a number of nests, killing the baby chicks who were too young to fly away.
KOTV reports that the adult birds returned to their nests and were heard making piercing screams as they realized their nests were gone. The bald eagles could be seen by locals circling the area looking for their nests and baby chicks. Sadly, there is nothing left to be found. At least seven baby bald eagles were killed in the tornado with at least four nests being completely destroyed.
“The area along the river all the way to South Tulsa is a great area for bald eagles with these tall cottonwoods and this river and Keystone Lake providing a great food source. But in these last several days, you can see a lot of bald eagles out in the area screaming and looking for their baby chicks.”
Bald eagle researchers with Sutton Center have asked that anyone who sees a bird re-nesting in the area to please call them so they can get a proper count. Though there is great devastation in the area, researchers say the birds will be able to re-nest in the area next year.
Fortunately, the River City Park was the only bald eagle refuge harmed in the storm outbreak. Other eagle nesting grounds near Keystone Lake were left unharmed. The remaining nests can be viewed via the Sutton Eagle Camera.
In addition to the devastation seen at the River City Park, a mobile home park and donut shop were destroyed in Sand Springs. The storm also left one man dead and 30 injured. Devastation was also seen in Moore, Oklahoma, where a second tornado touched down. The Oklahoma Insurance Department notes that more than 1,100 homes were damaged during the severe storm outbreak across Oklahoma that included large hail, high winds, and tornadoes.
[Image Credit: Getty Images/ Doug Pensinger]