Some of you might like to follow this eagle cam in Minnesota, the eagle laid its first egg yesterday (March 6) at 4:30 p.m. They also have a camera on a common loon nest later in the spring. The eagle cam history is somewhat interesting, they first tried it in 2010 and a pair of great horned owls moved into the nest before the eagles returned. Last year they moved to another nest but the camera failed early in the spring so they had to wait till the chicks fledged before they could repair it.
This year, so far, they have had success. There is one twist, however, the male eagle this year is banded. The one last year was not, so either a new pair of eagles took over the nest or the female has a new mate. I haven't followed the chats super close but I think, and assume, they are hoping to get a good, clear look at the band and maybe see where the eagle came from.
That is interesting about the new male at the nest. Of course it is possible that the old male happened to get banded during the non-breeding season.
Eagles mate for life, and I've read that there may be different scenarios if one of the pair dies. It is said that if the female dies the male holds on to the territory and attracts a new mate to the nest. If the male dies, the female often deserts the nest in search of a mate.
Another possibility is that an interloper displaces one of the pair. Sometimes a younger female tries to displace the female of an established pair. They may fight to the death, as nearly happened to the older female in Pinellas County, near Tampa, Florida.
According to officials at the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey in Maitland — eaglespeak for the hospital — the man-stealing flirt held the other bird down, plucked her feathers and almost killed her. The injured eagle weighed all of 9 pounds. "Her chest looks like a Thanksgiving turkey — completely bare," said Lynda White, coordinator of the center's EagleWatch program. "She is beat up. She is just a mess."
After four months of rehabilitation the injured female was released, but never returned to her original nest.
Her injuries were quite severe, including puncture wounds and significant feather loss due to this territory fight. After several months of intensive medical treatment, recuperation and several weeks of rehabilitation, the bird is ready for release to the wild. “We chose not to release her in Pinellas County since her mate has found a new female and they are raising newly hatched eaglets”, said Lynda White, Audubon EagleWatch Coordinator. “Ahhochee Hill is far enough away that hopefully she won’t make her way back to Pinellas County before nesting season is over.”