Sadly, "Joy" disappeared in late October, 2014 and Pride continued refurbishing the nest, sitting in it and also apparently making forays in search of a new mate. After some confusing appearances of at least three young eagles, Pride may have settled on the first female he introduced to us, whom we are calling "Newfie" (for new female). After we know they have settled down the nest watchers plan to use a poll to select a permanent name for her.
One of the favored fishing grounds for the eagles is the large lake in Sunset Lakes, our development, here seen at sunrise:
They sometimes roost atop the lighthouse in the middle of the lake:
Pride appears to be bonding well with Newfie. Very large and in early 5th year plumage, she is assumed to have just turned 4 years old. Her head and tail have not yet turned fully white, although we have watched the progress of her molt over the past three months of their on-again off-again courtship. I arrived at the nest at about 9:40 AM on January 28 and found fellow nest watcher Liza already there.
Pride had been spending much time on the nest, apparently trying to lure her to join him. Pride and his first mate usually had eggs by mid-December and eaglets would have hatched out a couple of weeks ago. We are concerned that the ideal period for breeding has passed.
Two days earlier, "Newfie" was visiting the nest, but only stayed on it briefly.
Liza had been watching for some time but had not seen any eagles. After about 20 minutes the female flew in from the west to the nest area. She was carrying a good sized fish that looked like a shad.
The female circled with it and ended up roosting on top of a Melaleuca snag to the west of the nest and proceeded to eat the fish.
About 10 minutes later (10:20 AM) the male flew in from the SW carrying a small fish which he promptly devoured.
He roosted on an adjacent snag slightly above the female, watching her as she ate. The female finished, at about 10:26 AM.
Pride flew out over the road briefly and promptly returned.
Then Pride flew down and they copulated for about 1 minute 10 seconds.
It appeared to have been a successful mating, unlike some the brief attempts that had previously occurred. The male then flew back up to roost briefly before flying off at 10:31 AM. "Newfie" remained on the roost until the male came flying back carrying a stick, and at about 10:50 AM she joined him.
Both circled high over the nest area, but the male disappeared to the south. When I departed at about 11:00 AM the female had disappeared high and to the south.
As of February 16, 2015 the nest remained empty. I believe that the chance for a successful breeding season this winter is nil. Hope they will both return as a bonded couple next October!
Back in March, 2009 a protective fence was put in place by the City of Pembroke Pines, owner of the property. This year as in all the subsequent years, the traffic cones will remain in place until May 15, the official end of the eagles' breeding season:
One of the adult eagles chases an Osprey, forcing it to give up its fish (December 20, 2010). Admittedly there is only a very faint reflection because of the waves:
Linking to Misty's CAMERA CRITTERS,
Linking to Eileen's SATURDAY'S CRITTERS,
Linking to GOOD FENCES by Tex (Theresa).
Linking to WEEKEND REFLECTIONS by James
Linking to BirdD'Pot by Anni
Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday by Stewart
Please visit the links to all these memes to see some excellent photos on display