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 Forum Index > Eagle Nests Across North America - and the World > Eagles - General Information, Q & A's and in the News
 Eagles - Questions and Answers
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By: karenbills (offline) on Monday, March 25 2013 @ 03:33 PM EDT  

Here you go: forum/viewtopic.php?showtopic=279226

David Hancock has used some of this footage in his PowerPoint presentations.

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By: Anonymous: a1ladya () on Wednesday, April 10 2013 @ 01:15 PM EDT  
Anonymous: a1ladya

Sitting eagle Hello there. I am curious about the behaviour of an eagle whom I watch from the Maine cams. We call her Alice and her mate Ralph. The nest that they reside in is a new nest which was built late 2010. The earlier nest was destroyed by a storm early 2010. The female we believe is the original female but her mate was killed in the spring of 2012. This female has been going to the nest each year and we viewers have been anticipating eggs from her. :hello: Each year that she has been there, she lays in the nest and stays the night. Normally she starts her pattern of spending the night on the nest in Mid March and continues on until mid April. Is this maternal instinct? Do they actually have maternal instincts? Chin The usual nesting pattern of nestorations and mating start right on time and it always appears to be a hopeful season of egg laying but every year the pattern in the same and no still egg(s).:cry1: Is this normal for eagles? I've never seen this before. I know if a bird is eggbound, they will die and she has been doing this for the last 3 years that I have been viewing this nest. Odd behaviour or normal. :dunno: I would appreciate it if I could get an answer to a mystery that has gotten the best of me.


Thanks and enjoy your day.

By: JudyB (offline) on Wednesday, April 10 2013 @ 06:25 PM EDT  

Welcome to my "other home" a1ladya - and thanks for posting the question here!

I've also been doing a bit of research today, to see if there was evidence to support my impression that the female at this nest hasn't laid any eggs since the cam came online, but spends a lot of time acting like an eagle with eggs. I also checked the "history of site use" page on the BioDiversity Research Institute website, and while there's no way to know that this is the same female, it looks as if whatever pair was resident in the territory before the cam came online was reasonably productive, producing 8 fledglings in 8 nesting attempts over the 11 years from 2001-2011, including two fledglings in 2010.

Here are the notes I've pulled together from our threads here on the Hancock forum ( 2012 - 2013) and from the more active thread on the Maine Window-on-Wildlife forum - link.

The camera came online in mid-April 2011 (it was installed earlier but it took a while to get internet to the site), and at least one of the adults was spending quite a bit of time lying in the nest, so we guessed that they were a late nesters and she was getting ready - but she never laid an egg. And after a while they moved into post-nesting mode. (I don't remember the details, but we know not every pair lays eggs every year, so were sorry that we weren't going to see them raise chicks, but didn't think too much about it.)

In 2012, they were working on their nest in early spring, then beginning around March 10 there were several times when I thought the female was laying an egg (position looked good, her feathers looked a bit fluffed up - couldn't see contractions but the cam is not high res and is not very clear so not easy to tell) - but we never saw an egg. To complicate matters, we think the male from the nest was electrocuted flying into a power line around March 12, perhaps while defending his nest, and a new younger male was seen on the nest beginning on March 17. The new male was a bit clumsy in his approach, but they were working on the nest and doing some mating. And the female was occasionally looking as if she was going to lay an egg, and often sleeping on the nest as if she was incubating - but we never saw an egg.

Moving on to this year. I'm not sure if this is the same male because he's lost the dark spot that suggested he was young - but I suspect it is. They were working on the nest by mid February, and on March 8 the female was on the nest at night and looked fluffed up as if she might be laying an egg. On March 19 we had a major snowstorm, and she was on the nest much of the time, keeping the nest cup area clear, as females often do when it's time for an egg. She eventually left, but they were both back when the snow stopped, digging down to get to the nest material. There was a point on the morning of March 21 when it again looked as if she might be laying an egg - but didn't. Starting around that time, she's often been sleeping on the nest at night, and sometimes is on the nest during the day - and it really looks to me as if she's in incubation mode, though there are no eggs and not even anything that looks vaguely like an egg in the nest.

A1ladya, if you have any additional comments or corrections, please feel free to add them.

I haven't seen this sort of behavior before on any of the nest cams I watch - and would love to know what's going on.


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By: RaptorWatcher (offline) on Thursday, April 11 2013 @ 12:20 AM EDT  

I also posted this on the Chilliwack page since that is where I live.

I am hoping someone will see this and be able to help me out here. I was walking my dog at the river on Monday afternoon and heard an eagle crying. Not an unusual sound as there are plenty of juvies and adults around there. The odd thing was that when I got closer to the sound, it was not moving and it appeared to be coming from the ground in the middle of a bank of trees. I kept walking and when I came back 20 mins later, I could still hear it in the same spot. I had to get my dog home and pick up my daughter from school but then came back later with my daughter because I was concerned that the bird might be injured. We walked along the opposite side of the bank of trees but heard nothing so I just assumed everything was fine.

Fast forward to this evening when I went back to the river for a walk. As I approached the same area I could hear the eagle crying again in the exact same spot. There is no way to access the middle of the bank of trees from the side I was on due to blackberry bushes so I walked around to the other side - about a 20 minute walk - and by the time I was over there, it was getting dark and once again, the eagle had stopped crying. I attempted to get through the bush to get into the open area under the trees but once again there were numerous blackberry branches and it was very swampy. I am assuming there is an injured eagle in there somewhere but whenever I get near, it stops crying so it is almost impossible to figure out where it is. I am heartbroken to just leave it there to die but I don't know what to do. I don't even know for sure that there is one in there but by all appearances from what I heard both days in the same spot, it appears that there is one there.

Any advice here???


This is the sound I was hearing: The second one down called "Peal call."

No matter what my day, the sight of an eagle can always put a smile on my face.


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By: MaryF (offline) on Thursday, April 11 2013 @ 12:00 PM EDT  

My only suggestion is that you call your local rehab/rescue organization and tell them what you heard and where you heard it. It would be impossible for you to try to handle a sick or injured bald eagle for your own safety and the eagles'. I would definitely do it sooner than later. It's wonderful that you care!!! love


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By: Anonymous: a1ladya () on Thursday, April 11 2013 @ 12:03 PM EDT  
Anonymous: a1ladya

I would think that the eagle could be thinking that you are the intruder but if you are really worried, contact your local environmental agency and let them know. They have the experience and could either give you better advice or check it out for themselves. Hope that eases you a bit and gives you some kind of resolution to your question.

By: Anonymous: a1ladya () on Thursday, April 11 2013 @ 12:08 PM EDT  
Anonymous: a1ladya

JudyB I totally agree with everything you said. Very precise and right on with all the facts. Odd behaviour. I wonder if Dave Hancock would have some answers for us but am unaware as to how to get in touch with him for an answer. He is the expert when it comes to these beautiful raptors and I'm sure he could better educate us with what we may need to know and what to watch for. Chin

By: JudyB (offline) on Thursday, April 11 2013 @ 01:00 PM EDT  

Thanks, a1ladya! Karen Bills has forwarded our questions to him, and one of us will bring his response here. Karen did mention that one of the nests he observes has not produced eggs in the 12 years he's been watching it - but she didn't know if the female went through a period of incubation, so she included that in the questions for David.


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