Posted by: rlukei | 2010/01/06

Adult Bald Eagles at Norfolk Botanical Garden

NBG eagles closeup 01-06-10-3

This is the first of what will be many postings to this blog site about the 2010 mating and nesting season of the pair of bald eagles at Norfolk Botanical Garden. I will continue to update the activities of Azalea on the EagleTrak blog site. This blog (CCB Eagle Nest blog) will begin with the new 2010 season and the activities of the pair pictured above – male in front, female in back. They have begun mating and have been preparing their nest for their new yougsters for a couple months. Your comments and observations are very much welcomed and encouraged. Libby Mojica, bald eagle biologist with The Center for Conservation Biology, and I will do our best to keep you informed and to interpret the activities that you see on the live WVEC bald eagle web cam (coming very soon) that is provided by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

Reese Lukei, Jr., CCB Research Associate

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This really is going to be a fantastic learning opportunity for all of us watching this pair.

We’re already seeing questions posted on the forum since the mating pictures were posted about when eggs can be expected… we can go straight to the experts 🙂

Thanks Reese and Libby

This will help all of who watch nest and all who will in the future.

Thank you for this site. What a great eagle “season” this will be.

Yesterday evening the male brought a fish back to the nest and dropped it off for the female to eat. I know he will do this while she is sitting on eggs or feeding young but in your observations is this common practice for most Eagle pairs even before they start thinking about nesting? Maybe a way of them renewing their bond? We saw this last year as well…just curious if this happens with other Eagles or is it just this pair. Keep up the great work and I look forward to learning a lot more about Eagle behavior.

I forgot to add something about the “renewing their bond” comment. I’ve noticed with smaller birds (I’ve seen Cardinals do it) females will allow the male to feed them before they start nesting and was told that this is a way for her to pick a mate to see if he can provide for the young.

Duane – I believe that the “pair bond” between the two NBG adults is well established. They have been a “pair” since Jan 2002 But you and others noticed that the male brought the fish to the nest last night for his mate. Is this action a sign that they are close to egg laying? I posed that question to the two most knowledgable eagle experts in Virginia, Dr. Mitchell Byrd and Dr. Bryan Watts of CCB. Both responded “I believe so”. Not enough study has been made of nest behavior to give a definite answer. Having cameras and live web cams at bald eagle nests is still relatively new, and will provide the opportunity to answer that question and many others.

Thanks for the new site!
So they have been seen mating!?! Have seen pictures of him hopping on but no real “action”. Do we have a date to start calculating possible egg laying?