Monday, January 26, 2009

Nesting Bald Eagles

Did a nice spot of birding Sunday afternoon with Shawn Beach over at Shawn and Anne's spread near the Chesapeake Bay. They have an incredibly lovely home and farm, with dogs, chickens, goats and more. Are we jealous? Hmmm... maybe just a tad.

Shawn said he had seen three bald eagles in the vicinity, two adults and an apparent sub-adult. Just the day before, he had seen one of the adults and the sub-adult locking talons and somersaulting through the air in the incredible mating ritual that Bald Eagles do. Birdcouple would love to see this someday!

He'd also seen eagles scooping up large swatches of grass and flying away into a stand of tall trees. There must be a nest in there! Sure enough, we found it without too much trouble. This photo was digiscoped using a Canon point-and-shoot camera pressed up against the eyepiece of our Zeiss scope:

This bird looked like it did not want to be messed with. Shawn asked us if this was a normal time for Bald Eagles to be constructing nests and mating. We weren't sure. But it took us about 3 seconds surfing the Internet to find this U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service chart, which shows that in January in the Chesapeake Bay region, Bald Eagles indeed are building nests and laying eggs. Love learning new stuff about birds!

And Shawn started his life list on Sunday! We were able to add a few more to his list. He has the bug, and we suspect that soon he will be out chasing rarities with us.


anne beach said...

Awesome photo of the nest! These eagles are part of my daily life and are breathtaking at times.

No photos of the chickens? Chickens are birds too Birdcouple : )

Anonymous said...

Wow..what a treat..I notice your list this year exceeds my 4 year total life list..LOL..

Warren and Lisa Strobel said...

Thanks for the comment! Going out with groups, bird clubs, field trips, etc., is a great way to see more birds, learn and make friends...

Nervous Birds said...

I've tried that 'locked talons' courtship a couple of times back in college.

One need only land on their noggin a few times before learning that a simple night out to a nice restaurant (and maybe a date movie) is best... especially for those of us who lack feathers.