Meet Lucy and Ricky — Riverside County eagle pair receive formal names

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First there was Jackie and Shadow, now there’s Lucy and Ricky.

A pair of bald eagles that have called a wetlands habitat in Riverside County their home for several years has been given formal names and officials say they’ve welcomed three new eaglets.

Lucy and Ricky reside at Prado Wetlands, a constructed wetlands habitat near Corona that is owned and managed by the Orange County Water District. It’s the largest such man-made wetlands on the West Coast, officials say.

Lucy and Ricky, an eagle pair that has resided at Prado Wetlands for several years, sit in a tree in this undated photo. (OCWD)

In observance of Earth Day, the OCWD has given formal names to Lucy and Ricky, as well as announced the successful hatching of their three eaglet offspring.

“Seeing our bald eagle family flourish underscores the importance of our environmental stewardship programs,” said Water District President Cathy Green. “OCWD has a critical mission to manage and protect the groundwater basin here in Orange County and our work out in Prado supports this.”

Lucy and Ricky’s eaglets sit in their nest at Prado Wetlands in Riverside County in April 2024. (OCWD)

The Prado Wetlands are home to a number of rare and endangered bird and waterfowl species, including the national bird of the U.S.

Its main purpose is to enhance local water quality by removing nitrates and other pollutants from the Santa Ana River, which flows into Orange County and is a main water source for residents. It also helps the Water District collect and store additional water.

The added benefit of providing an ideal habitat for local protected wildlife to live and thrive is a key component of the Water District’s mission to manage its water supply in an “environmentally responsible manner.”

The OCWD says it removes invasive species, restores native habitats and manages local wildlife in an effort to meet those environmental goals, while still being able to serve more than 2.5 million people in north and central Orange County.

Lucy and Ricky, whose names were chosen by a community vote, are proof that the wetlands can be a hospitable habitat for bald eagles and their young.

The eaglets haven’t been named yet, because they may end up taking flight and finding their own homes in the coming weeks. Right now, officials estimate the young eagles are about eight or nine weeks old. Typically, they say, eagle chicks remain in the nest for 10 to 14 weeks before fledging.

OCWD says their nest location is being withheld to ensure no human interference.

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