Bald Eagle, Essex County nest #2: female on eggs

March 23, 2017 in Bald Eagle

_W7I7236-001A lovely sight to observe this female Bald Eagle on next with eggs.  She is hunkered down in the nest and takes infrequent trips away from nest for quick bathroom breaks and feeding runs. Throughout the 33-35 day incubation period, one parent is always on the nest, not only to keep the eggs warm but to protect them from squirrels and gulls which would relish the chance to break open and eat the eagle’s eggs!

Bald Eagle nest Essex #2: pair at nest

March 15, 2017 in Bald Eagle

_W7I4072-001Observed the male perched adjacent to the nest with the female hunkered down after the big snowfall.  Incubating eagles will sit on the nest almost continuously.  The eggs need to be maintained at a temperature close to 105 degrees Fahrenheit.  Adults share incubation duties. Nest exchanges may occur after only an hour but usually take several hours between exchanges. Frequently the incoming adult brings a new branch or fresh vegetation for the nest, then the incubating adult carefully stands and takes off while the other settles over the eggs and rakes nesting material up against its body.  During nest exchange adults may both be in nest or sometimes one adult may leave eggs unattended for a few minutes before the other adult arrives and resumes incubation.  The first nest exchange of the day often occurs at or before sunrise, with next exchanges following every 1-4 hours.

Bald Eagles at nest!

March 8, 2017 in Bald Eagle

_W7I3374-001Not sure if the female is hunkered down deep in the nest with the male perched next to the nest.  Sure looks like they are ready to lay eggs and begin the incubation process!

This Bald Eagle nest, like most others, is constructed from large sticks, which are laid together to form the outside part of the nest. The center of the nest is filled with dead weeds, stubble and other softer materials, which may be available in the area. The nest cavity where the eggs are laid is lined with grass, dry moss and feathers. Many Eagle experts believe that some bald eagles show such a strong attraction to their nesting site that, if displaced or overly disturbed, a pair may not return to the nest the following year. This fact places great importance on protecting nesting areas from disturbances such as land development and recreational activities.

Bald Eagle nest: Essex County

March 7, 2017 in Bald Eagle

_W7I3326-001This new Bald Eagle nest may well be used for the first time in 2017.  The nest was completed in the fall of 2015 and the Eagle pair spent a great deal of time around the nest in the spring of 2016.  But it appears that no eggs were ever laid.  This “playing house” is not unusual among  a newly formed pair of Eagles.

It has been stated for many years that a Bald Eagle pair will mate for life, but if one partner dies, or disappears, the other will if lucky find another mate. A newly bonded pair may work several years on a nest before actually breeding. They may desert one nest site and start again somewhere else, usually within 1/2 mile. In Eastern Massachusetts, bald eagles will begin to nest sometime in February or March.  Each nesting pair will spend a great amount of time preparing the nest before any egg is laid. The successful nest is generally located in a large tree, within one mile from water, either a lake or river, where adequate food is available.

Bald eagle nests are generally found from (50 to 120 feet) above the ground, in a tall, sturdy tree. It takes at least two weeks for a pair of eagles to build their nest.

A typical bald eagle nest will range from 6-10 feet in diameter and about 6 to 10 feet high. The nest cavity, where the eggs are laid, will be about 12 to 16 inches in diameter and about 4 inches deep.

A pair of eagles, once established, may use the same nest several times over a period of years. Each year more materials are added to the nest, which increases the size of the nest each year that it is used. Nests weighing up to 2 tons have been found.  Stay tuned!

Bald Eagle: Merrimack River, Lawrence

February 27, 2017 in Bald Eagle

_W7I2553-001Always be on the lookout as you pass favorite locations, cuz you just never know why you might see!  For the past many years, Bald Eagles have been seen perched along the Merrimack River across from the NX Stage inc. corporate headquarters on Merrimack Street in Lawrence.  But since the recent park went in the Bald Eagles have for the most part avoided this location as a popular winter perch.  On this bright sunny Monday morning, it was a wonderful surprise to encounter this adult Bald Eagle perched and enjoying the morning sun overlooking the Merrimack River!

Bald Eagle adult: Merrimack River

February 13, 2017 in Bald Eagle

_W7I0547-001While driving along the Merrimack over this morning, discovered a Bald Eagle perched in a tree overlooking the river.  It is close to a possible new second nest location nearby.  Bald eagles build their nests in large trees near rivers or coasts. A typical nest is around 5 feet in diameter. Eagles often use the same nest year after year. Over the years, some nests become enormous, as much as 9 feet in diameter, weighing two tons.   A nesting pair will build a new nest if they feel threatened. Essentially, it’s not uncommon for eagles to build more than one nest within their nesting territory.  Eagles are very territorial during nesting season. They will keep other eagles out of their own nesting territory, which is usually one to two square miles.

Bald Eagle adult and juvenile: Essex County

February 8, 2017 in Bald Eagle

_W7I0466-001A dark overcast morning with visibility limited to under 2 miles with fog, mist and temps in low 30’s.  Went looking for Bald Eagles along the Merrimack River and was very pleased to locate a probable nest with an adult perched adjacent to the nest.  Just a 1/2 mile away was a dark juvenile perched on a snag overhanging the Merrimack River.  Hopefully this will be an active nest this year!

 

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Bald Eagle adult perched Merrimack River

February 7, 2017 in Bald Eagle

_W7I0415-001Today started off as a dark morning with winds from NE at just 10 MPH, light snow, visibility about 1/2 mile and temps around freezing.  Made a pass by the ballfields in Lawrence next to the Essex Correctional facility and spotted an adult Bald Eagle.  It was perched in a large tree just east of the water treatment plant.  Nice views over the Merrimack River from the elevated ballfields.  No other Eagle in sight and no clear sign that eagle had leg bands.

Bald Eagles perched in North Andover

January 4, 2017 in Bald Eagle

_w7i6422-001Nice looks on cloudy morning at pair of perched Bald Eagles on a branch overlooking the Merrimack River.  They were seen from the Lawrence side of the river from the ball field next to the Essex County pre-release center and were perched on the North Andover side.  No ability to see leg bands, but likely continuing pair of local eagles!

Bald Eagles: Merrimack River

December 27, 2016 in Bald Eagle

_w7i5775-001Went looking for Bald Eagles along the Merrimack River this morning and was delighted to observe a pair of adult eagles perched on a branch overlooking the river.  The vantage point was from the ball field adjacent to the Essex County pre-release center (aka the Farm) in Lawrence.  The eagles were quite a distance away.  The eagle on the left saw busy with rubbing its bill from side to side on the branch, likely cleaning up after a meal.  The other eagle was nearby.  The eagle on the right appears to have black left leg band!

The other eagle, on the left, seems to have an orange gold colored left leg band with the #4 visible.

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