JAN 12: Lots of action at Palm Springs North Nest DA-004
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I received this interesting report today from a local resident who has been watching the Palm Springs North nest. He/She writes:
Sometime around 11 today I heard a lot of chatter among the eagles so I got my binoculars to watch.
Some different behavior was going on. The smaller lighter colored one, I am assuming is the female was in the nest while the other was nearby in a tree. So far I have always seen them together in the nest. They were calling out to each other but the female didn't want the other near the nest. So I watched for about 45 minutes.
Finally the one that was sitting one the other tree landed in the nest then the next thing I know another Eagle came in from the south side and the two flew off to the north. About 15 minutes later the one came back and landed in the nest. There was a lot of chatter but it wasn't the usual chatter. Then the one eagle got on top of the female lots of flapping wings but it didn't last long. I thought it was interesting enough to tell you about it.
I know someone has been taking pictures with a long telephoto lens so maybe they got some good ones. Any news on the shopping center? Maybe if they have a family soon the shopping center won't be around for a couple of years. Boy do I feel privileged to see these birds every day."
MY REPLY: Thanks so much for the exciting report. The smaller eagle is actually the male. You describe copulation or an attempt. Successful mating only takes about 7-8 seconds of contact. Sometimes the male may mount without actually copulating as part of courtship and bonding. It is actually getting a bit late for them to lay the first egg, so please keep an eye on the nest. It is high up and deep and it may be difficult for you to see an incubating adult in the nest.
An alternate explanation for the behavior is that an egg may have hatched. Sometimes the eagles get excited at this event. If so, one of the adults will stay on or very near the nest for most of the time during the first two weeks or so, and you may see prey being brought to the nest and feeding even before any eaglet becomes visible.
Again, thank you and please keep us posted. I hope the photographer will share some photos.