FEB 16: Family portrait and funny feeding

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FEB 16: Family portrait and funny feeding

The two eaglets, now just over 5 weeks old, provided me with my first photo of the entire family together on the nest. Mom and Dad (Pride and Jewel) and P Piney 21 and 22:

After their chicks hatch, the eagles often add to the soft lining of the nest. They bring in fresh grass and leaves. Some say this helps deter parasites. Indeed, they carried in some pods from the Flamboyant tree (AKA Royal Poinciana) which, like many other legumes (such as Lima Beans which are poisonous if not cooked) contain toxic substances and cyanide. I think they are also covering up some of the debris in the nest, "sweeping the dirt under the rug."

We observed a rather humorous interaction. Pride was rearranging some nest lining materials and the younger eaglet, perhaps thinking it was a tasty morsel,  grasped a clump of sod from his beak.

Pride watched as the eaglet carried it away to the left side of the nest.

Pride tugged on the sod and retrieved it and finally replaced it on the floor of the nest.

He then turned towards the eaglet as if to admonish it:

Ever alert, Pride flew up above the nest to drive off an intruding eagle. We could hear it in the trees behind and to the right but never saw it. Perhaps it was one of their progeny from a previous season, or a wandering adult: