Thursday, May 4, 2017

Eagle Report for 5/4

Two Nests and Two Differing Reactions

I have always been fascinated by wildlife behavior especially in raptors.  How will they react to a certain situation is intriguing.  While monitoring Bald Eagle nests, I have seen many defenses of the nests by adult pairs.  Sub-adult Bald Eagles are a large portion of the intruders.  They have not yet reached adulthood to have a nest of their own and they are always looking for an easy meal.  They will take anything from an unguarded nest including an eaglet and any food left in the nest.    

Two nests separated by a few miles took a very different approach to the nuance of sub-adult Bald Eagle intruders.

If you have read the blog for awhile, you might have remembered this drama from last season.  The first nest seems to constantly have intruders around the nest.  The above pictures is of one of the adults chasing off one of the young eagles that got too close to the nest.  The adult hit the sub-adult 4 or 5 times while chasing it.  Obviously, the intruder had angered the pair and they wanted to make sure they proved their point.   The other member of the pair was back at the nest protecting the eaglets while this was going on.  They are a well tuned machine when it comes to defending their nest and nest territory.  No intruder goes by the nest without at least being warned to stay away.

At the second nest further downstream, the above young eagle soared and circled near the nest.  The adult perched nearby paid no attention to the intruder and it didn't even call out to warn the other eagle.  There was no sign of alarm at all.  The below picture was the reaction of the adult eagle.

Why would two nests close to each other and most likely dealing with the same group of young eagles react so vastly different?  It is hard to say for sure but it is very interesting.  We will see if the reaction from the past weekend by both nests is a consistent behavior or if they react differently in different situations. I am excited to see more... Stay tuned.

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