When "Not" is Good
Intentionally planning my first visit into the woods when I knew the adult eagles would NOT be around, I had both cameras with me.
Although I didn't plan on the fallen cedars, the obstacles did NOT affect my determination.
The view from the clearing remains just as breathtaking as ever. Since there was no sign of the adults, I felt safe in approaching the nest to get a few shots, knowing I would NOT disrupt them in anyway.
Did you know that the standard buffer zone around the nesting tree is usually a 330 foot radius? Maintaining this buffer zone reduces disruption and increases the chance of successful nesting.
When a pair returns to their previous nesting site, they freshen it by gathering new sticks from the ground or broken limbs of nearby deciduous trees.
Freshening the nest with green sprigs of white pine is an indication to other birds that the nest is occupied.
The green mound you see beyond the blurred (sorry) jagged, broken pine branches is the nest.
Both adults share the incubation of the eggs, split into four hour shifts, giving the mate the chance to preen, hunt and feed.
When eggs are in the nest, the incoming adult will step into the nest with it's toes balled up to prevent their talons from damaging the egg (s). A very unstable way of moving, the adult will raise it's wings for balance. This will continue for the thirty five days that it takes for an egg to hatch. By the second day out of the shell, the adult begins feeding the chick the food brought to the nest by the mate.
Surrounded by numerous tall thin pines, their nest, which sits about 100-110 ft up, is NOT in a massive four or five foot wide pine but rather in a thinner one. Their dead tree is located opposite the cluster of pines, giving the off-duty mate a clear view.
Believe it or NOT, I was glad I did NOT see the adults that day. I've been told that sometimes, the adults will return to their nesting area, but build a new nest if they felt or feel threatened. Our eagles apparently do NOT feel threatened. YEAH!
So far so good. Here's to another successful nest this year!!