DALLAS, Texas — Turkeys aren't the only birds in the spotlight this Thanksgiving. Photographers, nature lovers and anyone who hasn't seen a bald eagle is making their way to White Rock Lake to see what captivated North Texas earlier this year.
A male and a female bald eagle are building a new nest along the lake after the one they were using was blown over by high winds in February. Multiple eggs in the nest were destroyed, but the pair was OK.
And if you look at Jimmy Martin's photographs of the pair, you'll notice they're further away from the public and thriving.
"When they got here, it was a big deal," Martin said. "And it's still a big deal now. After their nest blew over, no one knew what would happen after that."
Earlier this year, the eagles had an extensive fanbase and caught concerns from the City of Dallas and federal wildlife officials.
Bald eagles are found year-round in Texas, though it's rare to spot a pair in the heart of Dallas. Wildlife officials believe about 160 eagle pairs are living in the state.
The pair had built a nest in Lake Highlands Park in October of 2021. The area has a lot of traffic, a school, neighborhoods and soccer fields.
It was a well-kept secret until, well, it wasn't anymore, which attracted a lot of people and looky-loos.
Anyone who takes an eagle or any part of their nest could face penalties of up to $100,000.
As a result, the city had taken extra steps to protect the eagles, including temporary fencing near the parking lot and signs telling visitors to stay away from the nest.
The signs didn't matter much once that gust of wind came. The eagles were seen utilizing an old hawk's nest after theirs was blown over, but it didn't last long.
Weeks ago, the pair was seen building a new nest along the shore of White Rock Lake, not too far from Lake Highlands Park.
Martin has been hanging out nearby and capturing some fantastic photos. The pair will likely try to mate again, which would mean more eagles would be taking the skies around the lake.
"I've only been doing this for a little over a year, but there's such a thrill when you get a great shot," Martin said.
"It's a cool experience -- and your pictures encourage others to learn more about them."
You can follow Jimmy as he photographs the birds here.