“Original Female Returns”
The potential for a replacement clutch seems to be improving. On Fri. Feb 22nd we were able to confirm that the original female had returned to the nest. Both she and the male returned to the nest repeatedly through the day adding sticks and pine needles to the nest. The sub-adult female has not been seen over the last few days. We will hope to see some mating behavior soon. Given this pair's familiarity with each other we are hopeful that things will proceed apace.
In other news the two eggs recovered from the nest are at VIMS (Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences) where they will be analyzed. The eggs will provide information regarding the presence of any environmental contaminants in the eagle's diets. The development of the embryos will also be measured. Given the fairly precise data we have regarding mating episodes and egg laying this information will be especially informative.
The eggs have been measured and weighed. They are pictured next to a regulation baseball to give an idea as to their relative size.
Egg 1 735cm X 565cm 126.1 grams (4.5oz)
Egg 2 740cm X 565cm 122.4 grams (4.3oz)
When climbers were retrieving this eggs two squirrels abandoned their den in the underside of the eagle nest. They were noted on Friday collecting eagle down to line their own nest. If the eagles continue to utilize the nest regularly we expect squirrel activity to decrease.