Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Drama at the Bald Eagle Nest

Defending the Nest

The day started off pretty routinely at one of the Bald Eagle nests.  The male and female at this nest were busy finding food and feeding their two growing eaglets.  The male was doing the hunting and the female was feeding/watching over the hatchlings.  This is a shot of the female before the drama started.

Here is the female stretching her wings and taking a quick flight around before returning back to the nest.

Then another eagle flew near the nest.  At first, I thought it was the male returning with some more food for the eaglets but the female was visibly upset and was blocking the eagle from landing on the nest.  The intruder was a subadult Bald Eagle and was probably around three years old.  It takes 4-5 years for a Bald Eagle to reach adulthood and to have the distinct markings that it is known for.

The female continued to call for the male and defend her young in the nest.  She finally made a choice and flew at the subadult.  She warned the younger eagle with her massive talons and took a swipe at it.  It flew off landing in a nearby tree.

Here is a shot of the intruder perched in a nearby tree.  The female continued to call her mate back to the nest.  It felt like forever but actually was only a few minutes before he arrived.  The male quickly took up the task of chasing off the intruder.

Here is the male chasing off the intruder.

The chase continues as the male makes sure the subadult is removed from the area.  The rest of the time at the nest was routine and the threat was over.  Subadult Bald Eagles are notorious scavengers.  They are always looking for an easy meal.  They are still learning to hunt and fish.  Luckily, the nesting pair worked well together and defended the nest and the eaglets from harm.   Stay tuned for more Bad Eagle stories as the season continues.  In case you missed the first installment, you can read more here.

Happy Birding and don't forget to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

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