Good morning all, On the eve of another major snow storm, our resident pair of Bald Eagles continues to add to their nest. Since the first sighting of the eagles on campus around 25 January 2018, the eagles have added sticks to broaden the nest by 18” on each side and increased the depth of the nest by double! Over the last two weeks, nest lining material, including grass and pine needles have been brought to the nest, indicating that the eagles seem pretty serious about having a go at raising some young this season.
Attendance at the nest has increased over the last 10 days and the eagles are typically in the vicinity of the nest throughout the day. We’re waiting now to have the female sit in the nest for long periods of time; only then will we really know the pair have eggs in the nest. Once the incubation of the eggs begins, the female will be sitting low in the nest for the majority of each hour of the day (24 hrs a day!). We can’t see into the nest, so we’re banking on reading the behavior of the female to know when we’ve got eggs! Stay tuned!
For now, here are some pictures of our pair from this morning following the arrival of one with another stick for the nest. Enjoy!
Mount Saint Mary College’s Bald Eagle is busy working on its nest on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018.
Mount Saint Mary College is hosting a pair of American Bald Eagles who are working on building a nest on campus.
Good morning all,
Many folks on campus have been talking for a few days now about the Bald Eagle pair visiting the abandoned Red-tailed Hawk nest that resides in the large white oak on the north side of the Villa. The pair were busy this morning in the light snowfall manipulating the twigs that line the nest. From observations this past Sunday, it looks like there have been new sticks added to the abandoned nest (last used by the Red-tailed Hawks during the summer of 2014). The attendance at the nest and the additions to the existing nest give a very good indication that the eagles may use this nest to lay their eggs in the very near future. Bald Eagles, similar to other raptors (including hawks, owls, falcons) begin their breeding season during the middle of winter because it takes such a long time to get their offspring large enough to fly from the nest in the summer.
At this point, we’re waiting to see whether the eagles continue to build-up the nest (Bald Eagle nests can be EXTREMELY large, weighing a ton (2000 lbs) or more by the time they are done) in preparation for egg-laying. Until we see one of the individuals steadily ‘sitting’ low in the nest, we won’t know for certain whether we’ll have this pair as residents for the next 6 months as the pair attempt to raise one or two offspring. Keep your fingers crossed!
Below is a picture of the pair at the nest at 7:10am this morning. If you look closely, you can see the Bald Eagle on the right (the tail of the 2nd eagle is on the left of the picture) of the picture with a twig in its bill. Very cool!