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Eagle Drama Playing Out In Live-Time—Watch With Link–Intruder Female Eagle On Branch, Male In Nest

March 10, 2012

Awesome Eagle Cam  (As of this posting there is tension mounting at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens)

The following is a quote from a journal entry by Brooke Pennypacker of Operation Migration (whooping cranes) commenting on being asked to speculate about wildlife. It would seem to apply to the NBG nest as well. “But if we can be certain of anything, it is that Mother Nature is the consummate magician with an infinitely deep bag of tricks with which to dazzle and surprise and fill our lives with unending wonder. Perhaps rather than spending our time trying to figure out just how she does the trick, we should just kick back, put our feet up and enjoy the performance.”

Update–Viewers of the cam might want to know that the male eagle has not mated with #4.  For background on this soap opera please read here.  In case you need a scorecard,  everyone wants #3 to come back and be the mate to the male.  #4 is an interloper and though this is nature and no one knows what will happen there is great hope for the return of #3 female.  The nest is approximatey 6 foot in diamter, 400-600 pounds, and 4-6 feet in depth at the center.

No one knows the age of the male. He is at least 15 years old – adding the five years for maturity and how long he has been observed nesting here. Judging by her plumage she is a young eagle around 5 years of age.

At this time we are unsure what female will end up with the NBG male. He has been with 4 females that we know of since early fall. #4 just came into the picture a couple of days ago. She and female #3 (whom we felt was bonded with the male) locked talons in an aerial altercation. The male has also kept this female from the nest itself. #3 female has not been seen since the morning of the 8th. We don’t know what will happen – we are just observing.

Remember – these are wild birds. They don’t handle relationships like we think they should. They are surviving  – and this female is trying to survive too. We can’t lose sight of the fact they are doing what comes naturally to them. We don’t know what will happen – but we are seeing nature as we have never been able to see it before.

You are extraordinarily fortunate to be able to observe something that is very, very rare – the possible replacement by yet a fourth 5 year old female at the NBG nest. NO ONE has ever seen this happen before. The moderators and I are trying our very best to provide you with accurate information and data about what you are seeing. No guesses or rumor but FACTS. Not one of us knows just what is going to happen next. Stay tuned.
Some asked  if the male would ever abandon this nest to the intruder and build a new one.   The professionals commenting state  this is his home so he will defend it the best he can.   In nature anything is possible – but he has been defending this nesting territory since 2004 – I don’t think he would give it up that easily.
Female #4 on back branch is showing great patience in her effort to earn her way into the nest. The male has been through this 3 times already this season, and taking his time with her.
Why did #3 give up SOOOO easily????? We don’t know that #3 has given up.

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