This morning I got up early and drove to my daughter’s alma mater, Berry College, with the hopes of seeing the pair of Bald Eagles that have nested there for the past eight years.
I got there just after the sun made its morning appearance, and was happy to find the male Eagle perched on a limb about twenty five yards from the nest.
This guy had a cluster of leaves that kept getting in the way of the picture, so I would wait for a breeze to blow the leaves clear and then fire off a quick shot.
A noise from the nest caught his attention (and mine), and I turned to find his other half lifting her head up.
Evidently, she was calling him back to the nest, and evidently he was not complying as quickly as she would like, so she hopped out onto a branch, restated her request, and then returned to the nest.
This time, he flew over to join her. (Click on the photo so you can see the cool talons better!)
It soon became clear what she was calling him home for! The couple began with a bit of beak nibbling and neck nuzzling…
…then he spread his wings over her…
…and then…I confess to feeling a bit like a bird of prey paparazzi…and I’m thinking that perhaps I should respect their privacy…but I know you are interested…so…well…
…this courting couple coupled!
In case you were curious, Bald Eagles mate for life, and this pair (as far as I have been able to tell) has had 10 little ones survive.
After their brief interlude, the two went back to their regularly scheduled nest guarding.
When I hear the news that the Eagles have eggs in the nest, I for one will not be the least bit surprised!
12 thoughts on “A Courting Couple”
Wow. First of all, wow that you were able to see that at all. I had two fly over the house this week, way up high in the sky, and then circle for a few minutes with a juvie. Too far away for good shots but thrilling anyway, as I NEVER see them around here. Though Ihear there are now a pair in every county of Michigan, so maybe I’ll see them up close like you did eventually. I keep looking in all the right places. I got similar photos of a pair of sandhill cranes a few years ago. They flew in, then he jumped her. I was also somewhat embaressed but still they were great shots! As are yours!
To be honest, I think I would have expected their activity to be more fierce, instead it was almost poetic.
You were the early bird indeed who got the fabulous shots of this magnificent pair. And what a thrill for all of us to peep in on the intimate life of eagles. I could not avert my prying eyes.
I felt a little weird sharing the pics, but I found it too fascinating not to. To be honest, it was really quite lovely.
You were certainly beautifully rewarded for your early morning efforts, Kathy!
I was so grateful to have had some time to hang out with this lovely couple!
Wow, what great captures and story! Thank you very much. Andrea
What a privilege to be able to observe nature! This is a terrific series of great photographs. Thank you so much for sharing a slice of life many have never been able to witness.
A special day!
It really was fascinating. 🙂
Excellent series, Kathy! Nice that you’ve shown how big that nest is and wonderful details on the closeups. Courting Eagles are a joy to watch, much more tender than you might expect. I’ve watched the Berry Collage nest cams of the chicks in past years—just amazing.
Tender is a good word. I was surprised – their mating was like a dance.
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