2013 NEST HAPPENINGS
We are sorry to report that the nesting season is most likely ending early this year after the death of the second eaglet on March 22, 2013. As many of you know, it has been reported that the new eagle in the nest with the female is not her original mate. Bald eagles create very strong pair bonds that are not easily broken. It has been studied and shown that Bald eagles nest for life and only take another mate should their faithful companion die.
We caution everyone to refrain from calling the new male an intruder. An intruder is an unwanted, unwelcome animal. Liberty has clearly, from her calm demeanor, accepted this new eagle into her nest. Females are more aggressive than males and if she did not want him there, he would not be there.
Why would the new male kill the eaglets? Bald eagles are not like mammals who kill the young to put the female back into estrus so they can breed and pass on their genes. It is not unheard of for Bald eagles in their first nesting year to kill their eaglets. The exact reason is not known, but it appears that instead of the “nurture this” instinct kicking in, when they first see the squirming youngster the “it’s food” instinct is still there. This eagle is not good or bad. The eagles are just doing what comes naturally to them and we need to be careful to neither demonize nor glorify them.
While we are sad that 3 more eaglets were not successfully fledged to increase the populations of our National Symbol, we still feel privileged that we have the opportunity to have this window into their lives. Hopefully this new male will learn and be successful next season.
- The first egg of 2013 was seen in the nest at roughly 5:14 p.m. on 2/6/13
- The second egg was spotted around 3:54 p.m. on 2/9/13
- The third egg was seen at approx. 5:33 p.m. on 2/13/12
- One egg failed in early March and unfortunately hatched eaglets were killed early March 18 and on March 22.
BALD EAGLE FACTS
- Although Bald Eagles have been removed from the Endangered Species List, bald eagles are still protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.
- Are native only to North America!
- In the wild Bald Eagles live 20-25 years. In captivity they can live up to 40-50 years.
- Their diet consists of fish (80-90%), coots, small mammals and injured waterfowl.
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