NOV 17: Whirlwind courtship and consummation

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NOV 17: Whirlwind courtship and consummation

NewMexiKen
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This post was updated on .
WARNING-- This presentation may not be suitable for all audiences. PG-13 (S, L but no V or N)

I arrived at the nest at about 9:00 AM this morning and found Luis there. He had already been watching for two hours, during which time he saw both adults repeatedly bringing in sticks and working on the nest. But I found the nest empty! Hurrah-- the male (Pride) returned within a few minutes (at 9:04 AM):



He seemed to be anxious and kept looking around:.



Then, at 9:10 AM, he suddenly flew right out over us into the north breeze, which was at our backs. No time to adjust the camera settings and I got a badly cropped poor exposure. I include this because it does show a distinctive plumage marker. Pride has a dark feather at the right outer edge of his tail:



Pride flew to the east to roost in the lone pine at the SW corner of Pines & 208th Avenue. Immediately we heard contact calls of the two eagles. Luis ran there and I ambled along behind. He said they had attempted copulation at the nest and he thought they might be trying again, but by the time we got to see them they were quietly roosting together. The female (Jewel) is on the left-- note her larger size and almost rectangular shape versus the tapered body of Pride.  Her hind toe (hallux) is longer and it reaches partly around the branch:





They roosted quietly until 9:35:08 AM, when Pride started calling, gradually opening  his wings ever wider:





Jewel pointed her beak skyward and joined in the song:





The duet continued for only 10 seconds, when Jewel crouched down, signaling her readiness to mate:



Copulation lasted only 13 seconds. This entire performance took place in 26 seconds!









The pair roosted after mating (9:35:34 AM):



ADDENDUM: Later in the day, Grisell V saw them copulating at about 12:30 PM and took photos.
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Re: NOV 17: Whirlwind courtship and consummation

Sally
Excellent news Ken.  No need to apologize for poor shots, they are fantastic and tell a wonderful story about our eagles.  

Happy Thanksgiving to all.  Sally
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Re: NOV 17: Whirlwind courtship and consummation

naturegirl
AMAZING SEQUENCE !!! We are waiting for Deerfield to start laying eggs