A pair of nesting American bald eagles have returned to the Stanislaus National Forest, finding a home near Beardsley Reservoir northwest of Yosemite National Park.
The region is part of the eagles' historical nesting range, and the eagles aren't the first to be spotted in the forest. But this is the first known nesting pair in 40 years in the Stanislaus River watershed, said U.S. Forest Service ranger Karen Caldwell.
Beardsley Road will be closed through early March to protect the pair during their courtship and nest-building, the forest service said.
The California population of the endangered bald eagle has grown from fewer than 30 pairs in the 1960s to about 150 today.