Although the origin of the name that graces our estate is lost in the mists of time, the survey beacon situated on the cliffs that rise up above the vineyards is labelled Eagles Nest. This could indicate that these crags once housed a breeding pair of Eagles. If this was so, it is most likely that they would have been a pair of Black Eagles, now more correctly known as Verreaux’s Eagles (aquila verreauxii).
Verreaux’s Eagles have nested on the Table Mountain Range since ancient times. In the mid ‘50s there were at least four breeding pairs on the Peninsula, and the number and distribution of old, disused nest structures, which persist today on the more remote mountain crags, suggest that the population may have exceeded six pairs in recent history. The current situation is much less healthy. There is now only one pair of Verreaux’s Eagles in the Table Mountain National Park that maintains a nest on a cliff face some six kilometres from our upper boundary.
Eagles’ Nest has committed to support the Western Cape Raptor Research Program in their endeavours to conserve this last remaining nest. Other than monitoring the nest during the breeding season, the programme also performs important conservation activities such as tagging nestlings in order to understand their distribution after they leave the nest. A viewing platform has also been established, allowing birdwatchers to view the nest from a suitable distance, without disturbing the eagles’ activities, whilst also promoting public awareness of eagle conservation.