SEPTEMBER 23, 2019
by Louis Sahagun
For much of the spring, a constant flow of people arrived at a dirt pullout on a mountain road a few miles above Azusa, each craving a glimpse of 10-pound celebrities with 7-foot wingspans and the charisma that politicians can only dream of.
These were bald eagles, after all, the bird that spreads its wings on every dollar bill and U.S. passport. And their nest atop a pine tree overlooking a reservoir on one side and Highway 39 on the other offered a full picture of home life for these majestic raptors. It was the first time bald eagles had nested in this part of the San Gabriel Mountains in 70 years.
Voices oh-wowed. Cameras clicked. Faces smiled, and photos and video footage immediately spread on Facebook and Instagram of two energetic fledglings braving their first flights out of the brown bundle of sticks, and shrieking like high-pitched, neighing horses when their parents returned with fresh fish for dinner.
The fledglings and their watchful parents are part of a new breed of "urban eagles" moving into Southern California and throughout the nation, displaying an unusual tolerance for the clatter and commotion of city life.