Bird watchers have spotted two bald eagles working on a nest on the western shore of Lower Crystal Springs Reservoir, likely the same pair that made a historic mating attempt earlier this year.
The eagles have been seen over the past couple weeks at the reservoir in an unincorporated area just west of San Mateo. Observers have watched the giant raptors soar above the water as well as grab branches and drop them into their nest in an evergreen tree.
Bird lovers are not yet certain these are the same young eagles that tried to hatch eggs last spring, but the odds that a different pair of birds found the nest and started using it are slim.
"It appears to be the same two birds," said Jennifer Rycenga, president of the Sequoia chapter of the Audubon Society. "We're quite delighted."
The first try at nesting occurred in March. The eagles took turns guarding the nest, which bird enthusiasts took as a sign that the female had laid eggs. It was the first time a bald eagle nest had been reported in San Mateo County since 1915.
But the eagles left a month later after their attempt at reproduction failed. Still, bird watchers were hopeful that the pair would return, since bald eagles mate for life and typically return to the same nest, enlarging and improving it with each season.
The nest overlooks a cove where San Mateo Creek drains into the reservoir, and it lies within the Peninsula Watershed, a 23,000-acre property owned by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission that is mostly off-limits to the public.
It's a perfect setup for the eagles, which dine mostly on fish and want to steer clear of humans, said Larry Caughlin, a raptor enthusiast who was out watching the pair with his binoculars Tuesday morning.
"It's a paradise for them," Caughlin said. "There's plenty of food and they're protected. People can't get close to them."
The Audubon Society will be setting up weekend viewing stations along Skyline Boulevard on the eastern edge of the reservoir. Check www.sequoia-audubon.org in coming days for more information.
Rycenga said it's important for people to leave the eagles alone and enjoy them from a distance. The best way to ensure the eagles are successful and keep coming back is not to disturb them.
"We would love it if this show goes on for generations," she said.
Contact Aaron Kinney at 650-348-4357. Follow him at Twitter.com/kinneytimes.