Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Eagle Webcam videos

I know I have an unusually large number of videos and screenshots from the Norfolk Botanical Gardens Eagle Cam... but this is an unusual year. Normally there would have just been a few videos and still quite a few stills of the courtship and laying of eggs. Of course once the "bobbleheads" hatched, there would be tons of video then. But looks like that is not to be this year. Generally Eagles mate for life. The resident male lost his mate last year when she was hit by a plane that was landing. There was lots of drama when it was decided he couldn't take care of the 3 eaglets and they were removed from the nest. They were raised then released by the Wildlife Center of Virginia. That is another story. In September, a first year breeder came thru and Dad invited her to stay. She was beautiful. Everything was going great when she had a run-in with an electrical wire and died (this was Jan.6). Since then it has been one female after another. Female #2 showed up at the nest from Jan8-19. Female # 2 was very aggressive and "bossy". She was called "Notch Lady" because of a missing wing feather. Our male was never comfortable around her. His head feathers were ALWAYS ruffled :o) Then on Jan 20, in came Female #3 (aka Dirty Tail). She was a few weeks younger than #2 and Dad was instantly smitten with her. On Jan 31, #2 showed up and mated with our male. Then the male chased #2 out of the gardens.  All was well and everyone went on "egg watch" with #3. No eggs, but they seemed to be bonding well.
Then suddenly, another "intruder".... Female #4. Her appearance at the nest on March 7 was after 2 midair locked talon fights with #3. When #4 dropped down into the nest a fierce battle ensued. The male was the victor and #4 moved to a branch, but did not leave. #3 has not been seen since. Eventually # 4 was accepted by the male and is the resident female as of now (about 2 weeks later). Female #2 made a brief appearance on March 20, but was made unwelcome by the male and she left. That more or less brings you up to date. This mate selection is unprecedented and is being watched by biologists all over the world.

Click here to view my screen captures

Click here to view the eaglecam yourself :o)

This is our male

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