Eagle visits but still no nesting!
Well, the subject line of this post pretty much sums it up. Although we have seen the eagles on a regular basis the birds at this site are not showing the signs of nesting this year. Many have put forth suggestions as to why they might not be nesting and unfortunately it is very difficult, if not impossible, to know for certain why these birds are again not nesting.
Last year, their nesting efforts waned directly after the arrival of a 'third' eagle which interrupted the nesting pair fairly early in the season. We've not seen any antagonistic interactions yet this year but other eagles have appeared at this nest on occasion over the past few months.
One possibility is that the birds are using this nest as a 'dummy' nest and nesting elsewhere. I have no knowledge of an additional nest but again this is difficult to rule out without a thorough survey of the area surrounding this nest or possibly aerial surveys.
Additionally, it is well documented that individual eagles do not necessarily nest every year. Perhaps these birds are simply taking an 'extended break' from nesting due to any number of reasons such as food supply, territorial disputes, body condition, or the condition of the nest or nest tree.
We will have to keep watch as the birds may still nest late but a general rule in coastal Maine is that if the birds do not lay eggs by early May it is unlikely that they will nest.
Until next time,
BioDiversity Research Institute