Thursday, February 5, 2009

Great News for Eagle Fans - Woodlands Texas

Bald Eagle fans that is. This year, we are proud to have a second nesting Eagle couple. The returning couple has nested in or near their traditional location on East Shore, and now a new couple has moved into Carlton Woods! I suspect at least one is an offshoot of The Woodlands couple. Fifteen eaglets have been born and raised here over the past few years. They mature into breeding adults at about five years of age and live to be about thirty. It is believed that we have chicks in both nests this year. They usually raise one or two chicks each year. We are now awaiting sightings of the newborns above the nests to see how many we have this year. The new couple have decided that they did not need to be very near water, as did our resident pair. We have watched the Eagles teach their offspring to fly, to fish and even to hunt. They of course soar high and distant in search of food. Each year someone gets the privilege of seeing one or more in a local park or near their home. Each December-January, they return to nest. Let's hope the newcomers return each year also. So watch and listen to the skies and see if you can spot one this Spring.

I recall one year watching the Eagles teach their two fledglings to fish. They had a nest near Woodlands Parkway and people would stop at the bridge over Lake Woodlands to watch. I saw one parent swoop out of the sky and grabbed a fish on the surface of the water. One of the babies swooped right behind following the parent. As the parent came off of the water, he dropped the fish. The youngster dived and plucked the fish out of the water, right behind the parent. Lunch was served and lesson taught.

Those days are gone. These days, the birds nest in more remote locations. It is better that way. They need their privacy and will stop nesting here if they are disturbed.

Additional reading: American Bald Eagle - nesting and young

1 comment:

ChristineMM said...

In 2013 there was a long article in Scientific American about wild animals from small to larger mammals to birds changing their habits to tolerate living in close proximity to humans.

Some species are even losing their fear of humans, having not been hunted for over 100 years in certain urban settings.

It was an excellent article although I cannot find a free article to link to for you right now.

It was encouraging.