The Nest Of Best Is Better Than The Rest

Their sycamore tree

Their sycamore tree

Jim coming home.

Jim coming home.

Jim in his aerie.

Jim in his aerie.

A closeup of the bottom of the nest.

A closeup of the bottom of the nest.

DSCN7270es

Carpeting the nest.

Carpeting the nest.

Two adults and a juvie.

Two adults and a juvie.

One of the heronries.

One of the heronries.

Nesting season is upon us, and you cannot have a nesting season without a nest and the well field that Jim and Cindy call home has hundreds of nests!

There are all kinds of nests. Nests of all shapes and sizes. And I am sure that they range from tiny hummingbird nests to several much larger nests. But for me, the largest nest is best!

Several people at Saturday’s event asked about the new nest and how it was coming along and my answer was, “very well indeed”. I hope that the attached pictures can better illustrate just how hard our eagles have been working. Remember that last year’s nest was destroyed by the June 29th windstorm that also destroyed the outdoor stage at the National Museum of the United States Air Force and caused the cancellation of the annual Tattoo event. What remained of that nest was blown out of the tree by August. Construction of the aerie shown in these pictures began in late September and is now a massive structure that can be clearly seen from 1/2 a mile away. And they are still working on it. If you look carefully at my picture of their sycamore tree you can clearly see two of the three trees (just to the left of their tree) whose trunks were snapped off during that June windstorm. Additionally, in one of Roger’s pictures taken from Eastwood Lake today, Jim and Cindy are in the nest while a juvenile passes just above the nest. That youngster will likely be chased off when the new eggs arrive.

Today they were not only adding to the walls but carpeting the center of the nest with bits of greenery and other material in preparation for incubation. Last years eggs were deposited in the nest around the middle of February and today is February 4th. Now, knowing that egg laying takes place 5 to 10 days after successfully mating, well you can do the math. If you see Jim and Cindy side by side on a riverbank, on the shore along a lake or on the surface of an icy pond you may see a sight that you have probably never seen before.

I have also included a few pictures of the Great Blue Heron nests that many have asked about. A tree holding a group of nests is called a rookery and if they are heron nests it is sometimes refered to as a heronry. Jim and Cindy’s sycamore once held a number of these nests until the Great Blues were evicted by the eagles. They have relocated to a few trees a little west of the eagles’ tree. Jim and Cindy always maintain a second or third nest in the well field as an emergency replacement for their primary home, a common habit of Bald Eagles. Their backup nest is in that heronry.

One final note of interest. Bald Eagles lay a single egg at a time and typically a day or two apart. Last year Jim and Cindy fledged 3 eaglets but possibly started with 4 hatchlings as what appeared to be a lifeless eaglet was dropped over the side of the nest early in the nesting season. The average count is one or two eggs each year. Each egg is incubated for around 35 days before pipping. This period of incubation and the first few weeks of the eaglets’ lives are crucial! If the eggs are not kept properly warm and repositioned regularly, they will fail to hatch. During the nesting season, the well field crews shut down the roadway nearest the tree and try to keep any commotion near the area to a minimum. I think that is fantastic!

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Published in: on February 5, 2013 at 3:42 am  Comments (8)  

8 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Thanks to all involved Sunday I appreciate what you all do.
    The new update on the nest (aerie) did not know that! The fly over from the Juvie supporting mom and dad on there new arrivals great. The pic’s on the other nest and info was new for me also Thanks. Sunday was cold, well worth the view of The Eagles coming back to and the fly over towards Stebbins was awesome the cold
    seem to fly away !!! dma

  2. I am so glad that you had a good time! We enjoyed sharing. I know that my postings here are somewhat repetitive but the eagles’ activities are cyclical. We are adding new followers all the time (now over 150 followers plus hundreds who just check in once in a while) and many of them were not here for last year’s cycle of events. Teachers who share the updates with their classes also have a new group of students each year. We are to be featured in an article in Friday’s Dayton Daily News which always spikes activity on the blog. Hopefully I will post about new eggs in the next week or two!

  3. I wish I had been able to attend the special event this past Sunday. Maybe the next time. It sounds like it was a lot of fun. I’m excited to see and hear more about the nest and it’s progress. Please keep up the wonderful pictures and posts. Thanks. Polly.

  4. Great photos! Glad to sign up to receive updates. Thanks much.

  5. Welcome aboard Jerry! Grab a talon and hang on!

  6. I look forward to meeting you soon Polly. We will keep you posted.

  7. Beautiful pictures !! I love all the info from Jim Weller and Roger Garber. Thank you all so much ! It lets all us house bound, for the most part people be a part of such a beautiful part of nature……. love the eagles !! One of God’s awesome creations for us to enjoy . Thank you again and keep up the awesome work !! Patiently waiting……….

  8. Thank you Opal. We are so glad that we can bring a warm smile on a cold winter’s day. I am patiently waiting too, but soon my anticipation will overwhelm my patience.


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