Mar 312014
 

NOTE: This post is part of a continuing series of observations: [ First | << Prev | Next >>]

We finally had some sunshine for our visit to the eagles nest this past weekend. Beautiful North Texas spring weather all around. This is a great time of the year to be outside, and it is a great time of the year to observe urban wildlife!

Not much was going on at the eagle’s nest when we arrived. The big female was perched on the rim of the nest but there was no sign of the juveniles. They made their appearance soon enough, however, as both eaglets raised up and attempted to get their mother’s attention with vocalizations.

Bald Eagle - Nest: Week Ten

Bald Eagle - Nest: Week Ten

Bald Eagle - Nest: Week Ten

Bald Eagle - Nest: Week Ten

Bald Eagle - Nest: Week Ten

Our two baby eaglets are now just over four weeks old and they are growing fast! They have left behind the fuzzy white down of infancy and are now developing the brown plumage of first year juveniles. At least one of the young eagles was even seen exercising its wings!

Bald Eagle - Nest: Week Ten

Bald Eagle - Nest: Week Ten

The male returned to the nest within the hour and landed at the top of the tower. There was a lot of excitement down in the nest, as if a feeding was expected. But the male eagle had returned empty handed and did not make a move toward the nest.

Bald Eagle - Nest: Week Ten

Bald Eagle - Nest: Week Ten

Bald Eagle - Nest: Week Ten

Bald Eagle - Nest: Week Ten

Bald Eagle - Nest: Week Ten

Bald Eagle - Nest: Week Ten

Eventually, the female left the nest and joined the male at the top of the transmission tower. What happened next was interesting.

The two adults traded positions on their perch, and all the while the female was becoming more vocal and increasingly aggressive. A few seconds later and the female had driven the male away. After a brief stop on the adjacent tower, he retreated behind the woods to the east and was not seen again while we were on site.

Bald Eagle - Nest: Week Ten

Bald Eagle - Nest: Week Ten

Bald Eagle - Nest: Week Ten

Bald Eagle - Nest: Week Ten

Bald Eagle - Nest: Week Ten

Bald Eagle - Nest: Week Ten

Bald Eagle - Nest: Week Ten

Bald Eagle - Nest: Week Ten

Bald Eagle - Nest: Week Ten

Now, I don’t want to indulge in to much anthropomorphizing, but I get the distinct impression that these two adult eagles do not get along too well. I sometimes get the feeling that the male is a bit of a shirker, and the female is inclined to nag. Maybe I am reading too much into this. This is the first and only eagle’s nest I have ever observed, so I have no idea how typical this kind of behavior is.

The morning ended, for us, with the adult female alone at the top of the tower with the two eaglets hunkered down and unattended in the nest below.

Bald Eagle - Nest: Week Ten

Bald Eagle - Nest: Week Ten

Bald Eagle - Nest: Week Ten

NOTE: This post is part of a continuing series of observations: [ First | << Prev | Next >>]

  2 Responses to “Bald Eagle – Nest: Week Ten”

  1. Chris, in nests I’ve observed before, whichever bird was “at home” would harass the other if it returned without food. I saw that a few days ago at the one I am observing now on the North Canadian River near Edmond, Oklahoma.

    Have you taken a look at the web site on bald eagles at the Sutton Center in Oklahoma? It is run by OU I believe. I don’t have the url handy, but it can be easily found. They post a fair bit of information about eagle nesting including behavior.

    Are you identifying male vs female by smaller body size for the male?

    Thanks, Dave

    • Thanks for the info, Dave. I have not seen the Sutton Center eagles yet… I will have to take a look.

      I am identifying the male as the smaller of the two eagles.

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