Tuesday, March 07, 2006

February 15 notes: nest site loyalty

Both adult eagles are making multiple appearances daily at the nest. They feed at the nest occasionally, but meals can be eaten anywhere until food deliveries to young nestling eaglets become necessary. Rearrangement and grooming of small sticks and vegetation lining the center of the nest command most of their attention: apparently readying the nest for eggs.

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


Blogger Gale said...

Hello Charlie!! How is it going? It has been a long time. The eagles on Hill's Island raised a chick successfully last year and I have some photos on flickr

Your cam is great!!! Perfect positioning, really clear shots. I'll be looking in regularly if not obsessively! So I can get a sense of what is happening on the HI nest. Still doing seal observations.

Take care Gale

11:05 AM  

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