DEC 7: New female joins Pride at nest!

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DEC 7: New female joins Pride at nest!

NewMexiKen
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This post was updated on .
Lisa called me from the nest at about 4:20 PM to say that she was quite certain she saw one eagle on the nest and immediately saw a second roosting nearby. She called again about 25 minutes later to say that an adult female was roosting near the nest and the male (Pride) was in the nest.



I rushed over and got there at about 5:00 PM. A small crowd was already gathering in response to Lisa's Facebook alert. The female was now roosting in the nest tree above and to the left (east) of the male in the nest.



The male (Pride) kept looking up at her.







He then took flight and landed next to the female and briefly attempted copulation after the female assumed a receptive posture.









The male flew down and the female kept calling. The male returned to roost next to the female.



Note that the female is not quite in full adult plumage. There are dark streaks on the top of her head and a faint dark line behind each of her eyes. Many of her tail feathers have dark tips. This means she is about 4 years old, and her plumage is entering fifth year or full adult. Eagles are known to breed at this age. She is noticeably larger than the male. Her beak is very large and she has a sloping forehead, unlike Pride's first mate (Joy) who had a high forehead.  

A question that must be raised is whether this new female may be one of Pride's own offspring from previous years. As I understand it, most wild creatures have behavioral traits that discourage inbreeding, so it will be important to watch and see if this partnership works out.

Soon both took flight (the female chasing the male) and circled the nest, over the wooded area and Pines Boulevard. This seemed to be a good sign that they are bonding and also are identifying specifically with this nest. Time will tell. It is possible that breeding may not occur until next season, though it is possible that they may have already been together and mated.

The male then roosted at the top of a pine just to the west of the nest and the female disappeared behind the nest. Just as I was leaving at about 5:45 a second year male Bald Eagle suddenly appeared on the scene, flying in over the melaleucas to the west. Other observers will need to relate the subsequent events. I will work on processing some of my flight photos. As you can tell by these shots, it was getting quite dark and they are of poor quality.
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Re: New female joins Pride at nest!

Lisa G
I tried to post he pictures of the New Female that I took when I first got to the nest .. If pride picks this beautiful lady I have the first pictures of our new Girl :) what a great Birthday today seeing Pride in his nest and hopefully his new mate . As Ken was leaving we seen a young Eagle show up and the young one and Pride were flying together then the Female joined in and what a site for us all they where just being Eagles and we all loved watching them . It was dark by them and the Female went to the back of the nest area and Pride and the young Eagle went to the old trees together and were done for the night . I did get pictures of them also in the trees resting :) I enjoyed my time with the Eagles who I just love . My husband , Ken , Jose , Liza and many others that were there we all laughed and just enjoyed the Eagles :):) Everyone be on the Look out .. I will post to Pride & Joy Facebook page the pictures I have .  
https://www.facebook.com/pages/South-Florida-Pine-Eagle-Nest-Inc/537121543002300

UPDATE !!!!    We are pleased to announce that we are now South Florida Pines Eagle Nest , Inc. a 501 C (3)  as of November 18, 2015 Public Charity Status 170 (b) (1) (A) (vi)  Employer Identification Number : 4-3116409 DLN: 26053716001635  . Donors can deduct contributions they make to us under IRC section 501 (c) (3)  If you have Donated in the last 27 months your Donation  is Tax Deductible ..


Thank you!! If anyone has questions please feel free send an email to ag2761@comcast.net
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Re: New female joins Pride at nest!

Lisa G
In reply to this post by NewMexiKen
As Happy I am to see Pride Got a New Lady . I am very sad right now that we will not see our Joy and I will always wonder what Happened to her . She will be Missed
https://www.facebook.com/pages/South-Florida-Pine-Eagle-Nest-Inc/537121543002300

UPDATE !!!!    We are pleased to announce that we are now South Florida Pines Eagle Nest , Inc. a 501 C (3)  as of November 18, 2015 Public Charity Status 170 (b) (1) (A) (vi)  Employer Identification Number : 4-3116409 DLN: 26053716001635  . Donors can deduct contributions they make to us under IRC section 501 (c) (3)  If you have Donated in the last 27 months your Donation  is Tax Deductible ..


Thank you!! If anyone has questions please feel free send an email to ag2761@comcast.net
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Re: New female joins Pride at nest!

JLD_photography
In reply to this post by NewMexiKen
I have those pictures the light wasn't good
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Re: New female joins Pride at nest!

MyEagle13
In reply to this post by NewMexiKen
Ohh!! Ken unfotunally we have to accept that our Joy will not come back but we have to keep going that's nature and it will happen to everyone ( SOAR FREE JOY YOU WILL ALWAYS BE IN OUR HEART THANK YOU FOR SOME MANY YEARS OF HAPPINESS AND FOR LET US LEARN FROM YOU THANK YOU FOR BEEN PARTS OF OUR LIFE  YOU WILL NEVER BE FORGET!) I'm so happy for our Pride what i never expect is Pride to have a girl friend so fast if this couple ever get together that means that we have so much more eagles around than i know WAO!! good for Pride he is not gonna be along any more my predictions were right he was the one around that is his nest and he brought a new lady to the house, his house so lets expect more years of learning and hope for a new cam soon! Darnn!! I was not there to see it but you guys should it email me and let me know I miss it!!!
Myeagle13
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Re: New female joins Pride at nest!

Kelly Heffernan
In reply to this post by NewMexiKen
What great news and so amazing that you captured it on film and were able to share it!  Great job to all of the volunteers who dedicated their time to making all of those observations at the nest.  Something a cam would have never caught with its narrow field of vision!  

You wrote the question about whether the new female could be one of Pride's own offspring.  We had to research this for burrowing owls, and lots of recent studies show some level of inbreeding especially in raptors, it is more common than not.  Usually at low levels, like 10-13% in burrowing owls, but the worry is often that if a species is too rare or has a limited dispersal pattern, it may exaggerate that natural rate.  Burrowing owls also live colonially and double brood, characteristics that make this more prevalent.  If the eagles are just expanding back into Broward County and there are only a few nests, so nearby eagles more rare and more likely related, it may be possible.  At these lower levels, the offspring develop normally and seem to do just fine, so that is the good news.

In burrowing owls, the juvenile females tend to disperse longer distances than males, and this is one of the traits that Ken described that help minimize inbreeding.  So maybe this juvenile female needed a mate too and was reaching way beyond her home territory to find Pride.
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Re: New female joins Pride at nest!

Lisa G
In reply to this post by NewMexiKen
Just a note . The Camera we that we want to install are not like any other cameras . We will not miss a thing they are night vision and we will be able to see all over the area even out to the street :) No worries if we had the cameras we would see a lot more then what we are seeing now .
https://www.facebook.com/pages/South-Florida-Pine-Eagle-Nest-Inc/537121543002300

UPDATE !!!!    We are pleased to announce that we are now South Florida Pines Eagle Nest , Inc. a 501 C (3)  as of November 18, 2015 Public Charity Status 170 (b) (1) (A) (vi)  Employer Identification Number : 4-3116409 DLN: 26053716001635  . Donors can deduct contributions they make to us under IRC section 501 (c) (3)  If you have Donated in the last 27 months your Donation  is Tax Deductible ..


Thank you!! If anyone has questions please feel free send an email to ag2761@comcast.net
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Re: New female joins Pride at nest!

Lisa G
In reply to this post by NewMexiKen
I got a call from Liza Joy2 was in the nest .. Lets hope we get Eggs soon :):)
https://www.facebook.com/pages/South-Florida-Pine-Eagle-Nest-Inc/537121543002300

UPDATE !!!!    We are pleased to announce that we are now South Florida Pines Eagle Nest , Inc. a 501 C (3)  as of November 18, 2015 Public Charity Status 170 (b) (1) (A) (vi)  Employer Identification Number : 4-3116409 DLN: 26053716001635  . Donors can deduct contributions they make to us under IRC section 501 (c) (3)  If you have Donated in the last 27 months your Donation  is Tax Deductible ..


Thank you!! If anyone has questions please feel free send an email to ag2761@comcast.net
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Re: New female joins Pride at nest!

NewMexiKen
Administrator
In reply to this post by Kelly Heffernan
I don't know if this is just my impression, but the new female's body shape seems different from either Pride or Joy. she seems to have quite a massive bill and thick athletic neck, similar to eagles I recently saw in Alaska. I'd call it a "rangy" look (did I use that adjective properly? -- dictionary says: of an animal : having a long body and long legs; long-limbed and long-bodied <rangy cattle>; synonym in context: a gangling teenager / a lanky kid transformed almost overnight into a handsome young man).

In any event it strikes me that she may not be genetically as close as expected in an offspring. As we have seen, eagles can be great shape-shifters, fluffing out and turning into a ball or flattening their feathers and stretching out to look twice as tall. At least we have the dark tail feathers and head markings of the new female to help avoid arguments over which is which.

The presence of the younger immature reminds me of the two that visited the nest several times last breeding season. They came together a few times. One of the watchers said he saw a similar pair of birds roosting "down along Krome."

On March 14, 2014 I wrote this about the older immature that visited the nest:



Lots of excitement at the Pembroke Pines Bald Eagle nest this morning. I got there at about 10:15 AM. Both eaglets were active in the nest. There was a brisk northerly wind. The male (Pride) came in with prey from behind the nest. After feeding the eaglets he roosted on a branch just above the nest. Suddenly, at about 10:45 AM  the adult and the eaglets were in a state of alarm, calling and looking up. An immature Bald Eagle that looked like a second year bird suddenly circled around the nest tree. Pride took off after it and they disappeared to the south. Pride soon came back and resumed watch at the nest. The same immature appeared again and was driven off more forcefully. Pride took up a watch on the horizontal branch higher up above the nest. There was excited calling and suddenly at about 11:30 TWO immature eaglets appeared. Pride chased each one in turn but they lingered and circled for about 10 minutes before disappearing in the sky to the north. Watchers were not sure whether the first immature, which was a 2nd year bird, had returned. The other bird had a white head and darker tail, so it was a 4th year sub-adult.
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Re: New female joins Pride at nest!

NewMexiKen
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This post was updated on .
In reply to this post by Kelly Heffernan
As Kelly pointed out, there is a relatively small population of Bald Eagles in far south Florida, and it is fair to suppose that many are closely related, as juveniles commonly return to the general area where they were raised. Normally the adults drive away juveniles and independent immature eaglets. This natural behavior encourages dispersal and more diversity in the genetic pool.

Although I cannot find any studies to confirm my supposition, I believe that more subtle traits may also operate to discourage inbreeding. For example, it has been proven that many species are able to recognize their progeny and parents by the sound of their calls, beginning inside the egg. Penguins and many colonial seabirds exhibit the uncanny ability to recognize each other amid huge crowds of neighbors. Perhaps there is a corresponding instinctive carry-over of the tendency of adults to drive away other eagles that they recognize by their voice to be their young from previous years. I would like to learn whether this hypothesis has been or even can be tested.

In any event, here is an article about the lack of genetic diversity in eagles of Tasmania.  


7 November, 2013 10:59AM AEDT
Tasmania's wedge-tailed eagles have the inbreeding blues
By Carol Raabus and Ryk Goddard

"Any smaller population is potentially prone to inbreeding depression," says Dr Chris Burridge from the School of Zoology at UTas.

Dr Burridge says he can't comment on the psychological state of the eagles, but the small isolated population means the individual eagles are not as fit and healthy in Tasmania as their mainland relatives.

"Any species that lives in Tasmania and, for example has relatives on the mainland, if they're not breeding with those relatives on the mainland, they're more likely to breed with individuals in Tasmania with which they're related," says Dr Burridge...

..."From a genetic perspective, it might be worth considering bringing mainland individuals to Tasmania, because there's a lot more genetic variation on the mainland and that increased genetic variation could increase the fitness of the individuals here in Tasmania," he says.

MORE at: http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2013/11/07/3885857.htm