November 19, 2014


SDP 11-19-14 

Good news: the bald eagles (the Eddies) have returned to the area; however, it's unclear whether they are attempting to nest or if they will have time to do so before they lay eggs.  Let me bring you up to speed.

Yesterday, just four days after the eagles' nest at the Baltimore Orioles' spring training stadium was legally destroyed by Sarasota County, I spotted one of the birds in a nearby cell tower.  This tower is where they've nested since the County destroyed their nest in the stadium in 2010.  So, it's been hoped they would return here.

I've been observing these eagles for four years and I've become accustomed to their behavioral patterns. When they're roosting high up on the cell tower, usually they gaze into the distance and their movement is minimal. Not yesterday. This eagle was swiveling its head almost continually and seemed agitated.

  SDP 11-19-14

While I was at the base of the tower, the other Eddie materialized, soaring through the dreary sky.  What I couldn't see at the time (even with my long lens), was a trail of plant material streaming behind its tail feathers.  Nesting material!  Yes!

  SDP 11-19-14

Fast forward 4.5 hours.  I arrived at the tower under blue skies as one of the Eddies landed and greeted the other.  Lots of activity!  And, now…there's a lengthy branch up there!  To me, that's a fairly positive sign of nesting.  But, it also seems like a frantic response to unexpectedly losing their home.  Now, by instinct, they're racing against the biological clock, hunting and gathering, trying to build a new nest stick by stick.  This seems like such an unnecessary physical and emotional toll on our national bird.

  SDP 11-19-14

The Eddies were very intent, gazing down at the ground -- perhaps searching for just the right branch or clump of Spanish moss to carry up into the tower.  Recently, I've heard officials with the Florida Wildlife Commission (one of the agencies which said the destruction of the nest was in the birds' best interest) say that eagles can have more than one nest in an area.  So, there's a possibility that in addition to the stadium nest, they built another one.  For the Eddies' sake, I hope that's true.  I'll also hope they keep building in the cell tower.


Birdman said...

How long will this new cell tower home last? Home is where the heart is.

cieldequimper said...

You're still getting wonderful shots!

Brian King said...

Glad to see they're apparently making another attempt! Hopefully, this one is successful. Great flight shot!

Kay said...

Too bad they can't dive into the dumpster in your photo from the 15th to pick up more nesting materials.
These are great shots and you're telling a compelling, interesting story. Thanks for the updates.

We are: Clamco said...

Well it's no wonder our national symbol is the bald eagle. Their strength and perseverance is admirable. I hope they get settled in time. Great shots and thanks for the update!

PerthDailyPhoto said...

I've just been catching up last few posts re the eagles SRQ. I can't believe they destroyed the nest just before breeding season, that's dreadful. It does look like they're moving fast there to build another, no doubt you'll keep us up to date with the construction. there's lots of nesting going on over here also.. busy birds everywhere :)