Nesting Eagles

Did you know it was eagle nesting season? For the last few months, the eagles have been lining their nests with sticks and pine boughs. Sometimes I’d see the eagle pair together on the edges of the nest. Sometimes they’d be in the trees beside it. If another bird came anywhere close to the nest, they would flap their wings and holler until the nest-stealer left.

Mid to late March, the eggs are laid. I could always tell, because one of the adults would be sitting low in the nest like this . . .

They sit on the eggs for about 34 days. They must keep them around 100 degrees and roll them over a few times a day so the growing chick doesn’t get stuck to the inside shell of the egg. To do this, they carefully stand and curl their sharp talons (like we would make a fist) so they don’t accidentally poke the egg. Then they’ll turn each one gently with their feet or with their beak before settling down on them again.

Both parents sit on the eggs, although it’s believed the female does more of the sitting. The male is usually hunting close or perched nearby to help protect the nest.

Just last Saturday, I was able to watch as they switched places!

First, the adult sitting on the eggs cried out, once, twice, three times. I looked up and all around, wondering what was upsetting her. I didn’t see any predators . . .

within a minute though, the second adult flew in, a pine bough in its talons.

They bobbed beaks and he put his bough down beside her. She slowly got up to stand on the edge of the nest.

Spreading her wings . . .

she lifted off and flew to the other side of the lake . . .

leaving him to babysit for awhile.

Wish you could see right into the nest? I do, too. But our nest is so high, there’s no way for us to do it. So, I go online to find live cams of nesting eagles.

There are many webcams spying into eagle’s nests, but Glenda and Grant are only two weeks ahead of our Maine eagle pair, so I thought they’d be a good place for you to start. This way, you can imagine what our eagles are doing as they move around on the nest.

Glenda and Grant are permanently disabled, non-releasable Bald Eagles. They are being well cared for at the American Eagle Foundation in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. You can read all about them on the Foundation’s webpage.

Come back often, as I’ll keep you updated on the Eagle’s progress! Hopefully, if everything goes well, we’ll see cute little chicks like these during the beginning of May!

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