Monday, April 18, 2016

Keeping watch

Most evenings, mama and papa eagle take turns watching over the youngsters. At this point, I don't know if there's more than one. It's really tough to see anything in the nest except mama glaring at me between the branches.

Yesterday evening, papa kept watch from he nearby snag, which he often shares with a group of starlings that appear to be nesting close by.

I didn't see mama come back from hunting for dinner, until papa departed from his favorite watching spot. I'm hoping to see a fuzzy eaglet head moving around but the nest is very well obscured. I might not see much until the baby or babies start branching, which they do for a few weeks before first flight.

More images of my favorite eagle pair from this year and 2015 can be viewed in my Flickr gallery. Enjoy! Nesting bald eagles

Tuesday, April 5, 2016


Mama comes in for a landing
What I've observed in past years is that eagles sitting on eggs takes a few weeks. Mother eagles don't leave the nest if the temperatures are lower than about 60 degrees Fahrenheit, unless eaglets have hatched. This evening, papa eagle arrived in one of the trees near the nest tree. He and mama talked back and forth, then mama flew out of the nest to the tall snag a bit farther from the nest tree.

Mama groomed herself and was freaking out a pair of starlings that were nesting nearby. There have been several of the birds in the vicinity of the snag.

Papa grooming with nervous starling nearby
Papa then flew to the nest tree. That's when I realized it was mama returning to the nest tree. How can I tell? Mama is about 20 percent larger than papa and has a deeper bill. I can tell them apart when they're close to each other but often mistakenly identify one for the other.

The way the nest is built this year should protect it from winds that have brought a couple of their nests down in past years. But it's really challenging to try to figure out whether the eggs have hatched. I'll have to just wait for babies to show themselves. In past years, it's usually mid-to-late April when fuzzy little eaglet heads are visible.
Mama flies to the nest tree

Mama talks to her mate before flying back to the nest

Mama back in the nest