For the past couple months, the year-round resident American Bald Eagles around Chesapeake Bay have been busy building/strengthening their nests as well as bonding with their mate. This is true with our CBEC Eagles!
American Bald Eagles mate for life. As most birds, it is the male that works hard on impressing his lady. Our CBEC pair love flying together, circling high in the sky around each other, as if gracefully dancing. Mr Eagle will even play chase with his girl, trying to catch & give her a little love tap with his wing or body, as the Mrs is taunting “catch me if you can” while trying to keep away from him. You can tell they are having a wonderful, fun time! He will even try to impress by bringing her food or leave it on Lippincott’s Channel Marker and she will come to eat it. He’s definitely at her beck and call, I’d say.
More recently, several times I just happen see the CBEC Eagle pair mating on Lippincott’s Channel Marker in Marshy Creek. I tell them, “Hey, get a room!” 😉
Of course, it happens so darn fast, it is hard to photograph, let alone try to video. They just don’t give you any warning when they’re going to do it.
I had lucked out getting some images couple weeks ago catching them “in the act” but just couldn’t portray anything with those for a post to let you see/feel the action.
And then we have the day after the blizzard…..I watched the male Eagle land on Lippincott’s Channel Marker where his beautiful lady was perched and chattering at him.
And just as quick, it happened again! I was hand-holding and had no time to lock my camera on my tripod, so I locked my arms & stance and just held down my shutter button firing away until it exhausted my camera’s battery to my memory card as it tried to keep up.
And immediately after my fire-off stopped, they stopped. A whole 20-25 seconds.
I was able to capture 23 images in that 15-20 second firing. Wanting to portray them in a video, I watched a YouTube video last night and voila! Here’s my attempt at my first photo video.
P.S. Notice the Tundra Swans in the background, oblivious to what’s going on, lol.
CBEC American Bald Eagles mating on Lippincott’s Channel Marker…..
Eagles can also mate in the sky. To get the opportunity to watch a pair as they entwine their talons and fall precariously to the ground, breaking away just in time, is extraordinary. This act is called “cartwheeling”. I have not seen our CBEC Eagles do this this season, but here’s some photos from a previous year to show this act in the air. I cropped too much for a printable photo but wanted to let you see them more up-close.
By late January (the lower Chesapeake Bay) to late February/early March (my Chesapeake Bay area and above), the female will lay their eggs that will take approximately 32-36 days to incubate.
So it appears the CBEC Eagles may have another month of bonding. And they say practice makes perfect, right?!!
Whether on a perch or cartwheeling, yes, there is Eagle love in the Chesapeake Bay air!