February 15 notes: nest site loyalty
This is the 11th consecutive year of eagle residency at this site. Construction of this nest began in October, 2005. In just 10 seasons of use, the nest has grown to a two-level structure: each measures 3-4 feet in width and depth. The lower level appears to be residual debris from the original nest that partly fell after damage to supporting limbs. Our eagle 'cam is zoomed in on the "top floor" portion of the nest to optimize views of upcoming breeding activity.
Management comments: Bald eagles are notorious for being highly selective of nest locations. Some Maine nests have been used for more than 35 years and thus were likely home to 2 - 3 generations of breeding eagles. The annual addition of nest materials can lead to enormous structures over time. A Sagadahoc County nest measured 20 feet tall and 7 feet across when first discovered in 1963; it was estimated that eagles resided there for 60 years or more. Even when nests must be relocated to a new tree, the alternate nest is often built nearby. Their loyalty to traditional nesting habitats is the basis for effective land conservation initiatives, environmental regulations, and stewardship efforts of landowners. All habitat protection strategies have proved important to eagle recovery in Maine. -- Charlie Todd, Maine Dept. of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife