This was an interesting observation. I took these photographs late in May as I was winding up my Bald Eagle project at the John Bunker Sands Wetland Center in Seagoville, Texas.
The Bald Eagles I was following had built a nest on a transmission tower similar to the one in the pictures below. There they successfully raised a brood of two fine eaglets.
But there was more to the eagle’s story than what I had witnessed over the spring. The eagles had attempted to nest in the same general area in previous years without success. They even attempted to build a nest on a different transmission tower than the one they ultimately had success on.
These pictures are of that tower—the one with the half-completed failed nest. Remnants of this effort are still visible on the tower from a nearby Farm to Market road.
I was driving this highway on my way to US175 when I noticed a large bird of prey in the abandoned eagle’s nest. This was certainly unusual. The nest had been unoccupied all winter and spring. Why was there a bird in the nest now, and what kind of bird was it?
Zooming in on the photographs I took that afternoon showed the bird to be a Red-tailed Hawk. Most Red-tailed Hawks would be wrapping up there nesting duties by this time in the season, so it is likely that this hawk was only making a pit stop in a convenient location. But there is always the possibility that this guy was scouting out a promising location for next year’s nest. It will be interesting to see if anything develops from this!
|Date||–||May 25, 2013|
|Time of Day||–||Midmorning|
|Type of Behavior||–||Investigating|