JAN 8, 1:30 PM: Pride and new female "Newfee" at nest!

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JAN 8, 1:30 PM: Pride and new female "Newfee" at nest!

At 1:30 PM today we visited the Pembroke Pines Bald Eagle nest and found the adult male (Pride) and the early 5th year new female (temporarily called "Newfee" for short) at the nest. Pride was in the nest and Newfee was very close by on a supporting branch.

Definite indications that this is not the 4th year eagle that has also been visiting are the extensive white head with faint "osprey line" behind her eye and dark spot on top of her head. Bill is entirely yellow and under-tail coverts are entirely white rather than dark as in the 4th year eagle. Small dark tips to tail feathers are much less extensive than on the 4th year bird.

While not possible to measure this feature exactly, it is notable that the back toe (hallux) of this bird seems to be quite long, a characteristic of a female.

Although she is a bit closer to the camera I think the size differential is apparent, as is her more massive head and higher forehead. The female's gape (the back corner of mouth/beak opening) is said to be farther back in females than in males, extending almost to the back of the eye, while that of the male may end around the middle of the eye. I do not see this, but it is worth noting in any photographs. This was the best I could do, as the wind was blowing and Newfee's head was out of sight in almost all of the 60 photos I took.

This is an encouraging sign that the pair is continuing to bond. It may well be too late for them to breed, but they are biologic organisms and therefore may not be entirely predictable.