Monday, April 20, 2015

Eagle Nest

Bald eagles are fairly common here in the Bear Lake Valley, but they usually disappear after the snow melts.  But, for the first time, I found a nest in a dead tree.
I got permission to access the private property where this is located, and learned from the land owner that the nest has been occupied for at least three years.  The eagles turned out to be fairly tolerant of photographers, and would occasionally stay on the nest, but more often would leave.
Would the eagles raise a family this year?  On my fifth visit I saw just one eagle, but she landed on the nest as if sitting on eggs, so I was hopeful.  It was interesting watching her land.  She flew in low and fast then soared straight up and stalled over the nest where she could settle down easily.
Today, on my sixth visit, there was just one eagle, and I think the other has gone away.  This one perched on the branch instead of the nest.  She flew away and returned in a few minutes with a small kill, but ate it on the back side of the tree where I couldn't get photos.  She made no effort to sit on the nest or share food, so I don't think there are any eggs.  Perhaps a recent storm with 65 mph winds ended their nesting for this year.  I look forward to checking next year to see if they return.

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