Jordan Lake: Time is of the essence when it is cold and the parent eagles need to trade places on the eggs.  Eggs left uncovered in the cold winter air will die if left uncovered for more than 2 minutes.  Mom Kate was on the egg(s) when I arrived. 2 hours later she started calling and Dad Petruchio arrived.  Kate jumped up on the branch next to Petruchio (she is closest to the trunk). They glanced down at their eggs.  Dad Petruchio jumped down into the nest and settled onto the eggs and Mom Kate left for some flight time.  The whole exchange took 38 seconds.  This is a critical time for the eggs and then for chicks up to 2 weeks of age because any disturbance by humans can cause the parents to leave the eggs or chicks exposed too long and the disturbance could quickly become fatal to the new family. 

Jordan Lake: Good News for the New Year! First Nest has egg(s). Yes! The eggs were laid at some point after December 26.

1) Mom Kate flew over me, heading out to the lake after she and Dad Petruchio had switched places on the eggs – yep, both the female and male bald eagle help with the incubation.

2) Dad Petruchio landing just above the nest to make sure Momma Kate is ok (you can’t see her).

3) Mom Kate in the nest – her head is just above the brim and she is looking out the right side of the nest.  Look for her yellow beak.

4) Both parents at the nest.  Mom Kate is standing up in the nest and her head is to the right – she is rolling eggs.  Dad Petruchio is above the nest, on the left of the main trunk, look for his white head. I apologize for the photos at the nest, but, the weather did not want to co-operate; fog everywhere.

Jordan Lake: First Nest update. Bald eagles mate for life. Every breeding cycle they renew their commitment to each other by sky dancing and food offerings. Petruchio brings his mate Kate a bird as his commitment offering as they get very near to mating.

Bald eagles are not usually sociable. They tolerate a mate and their chicks. Sometimes in winter, bald eagles will congregate around a food source, but argue about it. Once a chick has fledged, the parents will provide it some food and protection into the fall, but then the fledgling is on its own. I have watched, once or twice a year, an eaglet (starting its first or second year of life) make a trip back to its home nest and be briefly tolerated by the parents. On March 26, 2020, I finally got to record one of these encounters. Kate and one of her chicks are visited by the 2019 male fledgling from First Nest. Eventually Petruchio took exception to the visitor and chased it away. I sure am glad I could show you this uncommon bald eagle event!