We live in Louisiana in the area where hurricane Laura hit 14 months ago and had a pair of bald eagles build a nest in the back yard a couple of hundred feet from the house at the end of last year, we are guessing their previous nest tree was destroyed in the storm which according to timber surveys took down about 1/3 of mature pine trees in the area. They proceeded to raise a pair of chicks this spring, we watched as the young eagles starting taking their first flights, and ranged further and further from the nest. We did not see any of the eagles throughout the hotter months of the summer, and just started seeing some of them again at the end of September . Yesterday we spotted an immature (brown head, with splotches of white) bald eagle on the nest, and a mature bald eagle circling around the nest area occasionally perching on limbs in nearby trees.
We don't know if these are the same ones as we had last year or not, so I was wondering if it is common for juvenile bald eagles to return to the nest where they were raised after going off roaming for a few months?
Great to hear from you again and wonderful to hear your report that you and the eagles survived the hurricane.
Yes, it is rather common for juvenile and immature bald eagles to return to their nest after migrating away during the summer. We have found the reaction of their parents to be variable. While they often chase them away, especially the older immatures, they sometimes tolerate their presence. Once the pair reunites and begins rebuilding the nest they will likely be more hostile.
We again welcome your photos and reports. It will be interesting to compare their activities such as success in hatching eaglets again this year. Our local eagles are already rebuilding their nest from last year.
Good luck to you and the Louisiana eagles and hope to hear from you again.
PS-- I am not a stranger to Louisiana hurricanes, having lived in New Orleans when Hurricane Camille struck in 1969. At that time it was the most powerful hurricane to ever strike the US mainland. See my memories of it at http://blog.rosyfinch.com/?p=42