Sydney Sea-Eagles - Nest


EagleCAM is a BirdLife Australia, Southern NSW, Research Project.


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NestThere has been a Sea-Eagle nest in the Newington Armory woodlands for many years with a succession of Sea-Eagle pairs renovating the nest in the breeding season. Historic observations go back to at least 1991. The early records are incomplete, but eagles have been observed in the woodland or fishing along the Parramatta River for many years. Both juvenile and adult Sea-Eagles have been seen in the area.

nestThe original nest, over the twenty years of observations had reached a massive size of about 2.5 metres (8 feet) diameter and about 1.5 metres (5 feet) thick. Its construction was of small branches, sticks and twigs some upto 2.5 metres (8 feet) long. Lined with eucalyptus leaves, and from observations, the leaves appeared to come from the same type of eucalyptus tree. The eagles start to build or renovate their nest in early May. Most of the building materials (branches, sticks and wigs) are gathered by the male. The arranging of these materials are done by both the female and the male but the female has the ultimate say in the design. It would appear that the female has control of the nest. The leaves are predominantly gathered by the female but not exclusively with the male occasionally delivering a bundle of leaves.

female & eaglet on nestThe nest from the High-Definition camera showing the female and one of the eaglets after fledging on their favourite roost tree with the nest 7 metres away (23 feet) in the background, this is just prior to the nest tree falling down in February 2011.




In February 2011 after a long, dry, hot period, the nest tree of 20 years had a catastrophic failure fracturing the main trunk and bringing the nest crashing to the ground.


nest plan In May 2011 the eagles built a new nest in the same tree. The new position was about a 1.5 metres (5 ft) lower than the old nest. It was about 2.5 metres (8 ft) below the original camera position of 2010.

The diagram shows the nest & its relationship to the height of the trees around.




nest planIn May 2012 the eagles built yet another new nest in a different tree about 75 metres (82 yards) east from the 2011 nest tree. This nest is about 20 metres (65 ft) from the ground. The cameras are in a different tree about 20 metres (65 ft) from the nest.

This diagram shows the new nest of 2012 and its relationship to the height of the trees around.




nest planIn April 2013 the eagles started to renovate the 2012 nest. Raising the nest bowl about 200 mm.
This diagram shows the nest 2013 and it's relationship to the height of the trees around and the camera positions.






nest 2014In May 2014 it was apparent to the research team that the eagles must be building a new nest because of the lack of visits to the 2013 nest. After many days of searching through the forest the new nest was located. It was about 75 meters NW of the 2013 nest. This nest was built in a Grey Ironbark tree (Eucalyptus paniculata) about 22 meters from the ground.
In mid-May the cameras were installed. About 100 metres from this new nest is the Armory train storage shed, in late May work had just commenced to replace the asbestos roof, with many trucks and cranes. Workers removing the old roof and installing a new one. This may have influenced the Sea-Eagles to abandon the new nest and return to the 2013 nest where they continued their renovations. In early June a ground camera was installed to monitor the eagles activity at the 2013 nest. In mid-June the cameras were moved from the new nest and installed up in the tree to monitor the 2013 nest.


nest 2014In 2015 the eagles had started visiting the new 2014 nest in the Grey Ironbark tree (Eucalyptus paniculata). The cameras were installed in the nest tree in early May.







nest 2016In 2016 the eagles used the nest in the Grey Ironbark tree (Eucalyptus paniculata).







nest 2017In 2017 the eagles used the nest in the Grey Ironbark tree (Eucalyptus paniculata).







nest 2018In 2018 the eagles used the nest in the Grey Ironbark tree (Eucalyptus paniculata).







nest 2019In 2019 the eagles used the nest in the Grey Ironbark tree (Eucalyptus paniculata).