October 1 was the first official day of Nesting Season but Harriet and M15 have been busy for many weeks preparing their nest for the next generation of Eaglets. Harriet and M15 were seen on and off over the summer as they took time to relax, refresh and restore themselves for the new season. M15 may have been away on little vacation and then made an appearance in the territory on August 8, 2017. Harriet had plenty to tell him as she vocalized for a while. He seemed to listen intently as they perched in a snag tree together. M15 has matured into a handsome male Eagle and Harriet is still the ever beautiful and regal Matriarch.
Serious nest building was still a few weeks away but they did begin checking the nest they constructed new last season which held up very well over summer. For a few days Harriet was taking sticks to a tree in the west pasture looking like she was starting to build another nest. It is not unusual for Eagles to build alternate nests.
Hurricane Irma blew through the area in September and amazingly Harriet and M15 and their nest survived. The nest tree lost a few limbs but all was well. Even the Old Cam Tree which is a mere toothpick of its former self and the favorite snag trees in the territory survived the tremendous storm.
As October neared, more and more sticks and grasses were brought to the nest. Harriet and M15 worked diligently on their nest and their bond to each other. They soared together, perched together and M15 brought fish to the nest for his Harriet. All these behaviors prove to strengthen their commitment to each other and their future.
This season has already seen a lot of Eagles in the area. Many different ages of juvenile and sub-adult Eagles have visited Harriet and M5’s territory. It is good that there are many more survivors and the Eagle population is growing. It is also not so good that territories are a premium and need defending more so now. Harriet and M 15 stand united in the defense of their territory. One such Eagle that may be a newly mature 5 year old and may also be a large female looked to want to set up home. M15 seemed to tolerate the visitor but Harriet was not letting this lovely creature get any ideas of moving in.
The first week of Nesting Season was action packed with renewal, building, bonding and defending. Harriet and M15 ready the nest for the new season and all hope is for much success in their new endeavor. Nest Notes by dadsjazz
Video captured from SWFEC cameras by Lady Hawk
Video captured from SWFEC cameras by Uta Große
Ground video by wskrsnwings
Photo of a sunrise stick delivery by M (Sharon Dunne)