Majestic bald eagle spotted in Johns Island Park

Bald Eagle in Johns Island Park April 2. (Doug Jackson)

A bald eagle was spotted on a park bench Monday evening in Johns Island.

Doug Jackson said he was fishing at the Johns Island Park around 7 p.m. when the familiar bird of prey swooped in.

He said the eagle waded into the pond before flying off.

Before it did, Jackson snapped a few photos.

Charlotte Hope, a protected species biologist for the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (DNR), said it’s not unusual to see bald eagles in the area this time of year.

“In early April, their chicks have hatched and eagles are trying to feed them, so both adults can be off the nest looking pretty hard for food,” said Hope. “The chicks eat a ton.”

Hope said eagles’ diet is fish and waterfowl, so the best chance of spotting them is near water.

The Johns Island Park is located at 1770 Bozo Ln., near the intersection of Maybank Highway and Main Road, about 3.5 miles from the closest reported eagle nest, Hope said.

“That park is only half a mile to the river so it would not be unusual for the eagles to be there,” she said.

Hope said by the end of April, the eagle chicks will be on the move, but they won’t look like their parents yet.

“They are chocolate brown with dark eyes; it takes them five years to get the white head, yellow eyes and yellow beak,” she said.

Hope said the birds are not dangerous, but to not approach them.

She said to report any birds who appear to be injured to SCDNR or the Birds of Prey Center in Awendaw.

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