Bald Eagle...Behavior Analysis Unit

When I submitted my weekly report to DEEP (Div of Wildlife) for the last week of January, it was filled with promise.  You see, nearly every morning for that last week, I had observed what I believe is...the eagles working on their nest.  The behavior has been almost daily, beginning at dawn and continues until about 7:30 am.  Quite honestly, it took me by surprise the first day.

After being out with Moon and Copper for about twenty minutes, it was time to let them back in because now that Copper is almost fourteen, he cannot take the cold the way he used to.  Opening the walkout door for the dogs, when I turned to pull the door shut, an adult eagle flew out of the tree line that borders us.  It was carrying something.

At first, I thought it was breakfast (although they prefer fish and the rivers and nearby dam are not frozen making food plentiful).  But it wasn't breakfast.  When it banked against the pale morning horizon, I could clearly see it was a sprig of pine and my heart soared!!

While the dogs ate, I went upstairs out onto the deck.  Sitting quietly, listening and watching, I did not go back in until I saw no activity for a straight ten minutes.  One adult would fly out of the thick conifers, always carrying a sprig of pine, make a u-turn at the edge of our yard and approach the nesting vicinity by circling wide, usually to the W/SW.  Their behavior was consistent...every two minutes.  First I would see the female, then the male would emerge.  Only on one occasion, did I see the eagle fly to the woods East of the nest.  Observing this behavior for a week, made me think of Criminal Minds and their BAU (Behavior Analysis Unit).  I decided I'm calling mine EBAU...LOL! 

Did you know that:

  •  when Bald Eagles build a nest, they usually select a strong, healthy tree?
  •  working on the nest together is part of the pair's bonding process?
  •  nest building/repairs begins 1-3 months prior to mating and is part of the breeding      process?
  •  they prefer to build in the tallest tree (i.e. super canopy)?
  •  bald eagles will defend their territory, which can vary in size depending on the area and the abundance of food?

The pic shown above was taken 1/4/17.  As soon as I feel my presence will not interrupt them, I will try to get an updated photo of the nest.  I actually had begun to walk in the other day with that being my plan.  However, I hadn't even gotten to my well-worn path, when I heard one of the adults sound "the alert."  Stopping dead in my tracks, I turned around and headed home.  Disturbing them at this stage of the game could jeopardize their nesting intentions.  Life, whether wild or not, is all about respect, you know.

just seeing, saying and sharing...

Bald Eagle...Behavior Analysis Unit

with you and those at


eileeninmd said…
Hello, cool to see the eagles working on their nest. I am seeing some eagles at the nest here in Florida and one nest in Tampa already has an eaglet. Happy Monday, enjoy your new week!
lovely to watch them doing their housekeeping....keep us posted
MadSnapper said…
living that high in the air they don't have to worry about people predators or snakes or bears or other animals that climb. above the mess is where they are.
Ann Thompson said…
Thats exciting news.
Susie said…
JP, I am thrilled for you. This will give you something to look forward to seeing every day. I have yet to see one in our area. But my daughter sees them near her. Blessings, xoxo, Susie
Rambling Woods said…
Oh good! Activity and now you can watch and keep us updated....Michelle
Florence said…
How exciting!! Do keep us posted on the nest happenings!!

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