DEC 7: Pair exchanges incubation duties

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DEC 7: Pair exchanges incubation duties

Following the South Florida Audubon Society first Saturday morning wetlands walk at Chapel Trail Nature Preserve, participants met up at the Pembroke Pines Bald Eagle nest at about 10:20 AM. At first we could only see the male (Pride) roosting on the support branch just to the right (west) of the nest. It was difficult to get a good look at him through  the pine needles. Suddenly the female (Jewel) rose up high and was clearly visible above the nest rim:

Then, Pride started calling and Jewel called in unison and joined him to rest (nearest to the camera) next to him on the branch:  

We thought they might copulate (they may do this even when eggs are in the nest) but instead it was the ritual which they often follow when exchanging incubation duties. Pride then flew down to the nest to take over...

...and settled down out of sight:

The first egg was probably deposited on Saturday, November 30 and incubation is expected to take 5 weeks (35 days), with the first egg expected to hatch around January  4th.