Bald Eagles nesting behind house

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Isaac-1

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We have a pair of bald eagles nesting in a pine tree behind the house on the family ranch in western Louisiana where I store my motorhome, we first spotted the nest a couple of weeks ago.  I don't know if this is a young pair with their first nest or an older pair rebuilding as this is along the devastation path of hurricanes Laura and Delta with 130mpg and 95 mph winds respectively (LSU Ag center estimates $1.2 Billion in timber losses).  In the immediate area probably half the large pine trees lost their tops, and perhaps 1 in 4 were felled / broken off / uprooted by the storm.  We had 22 trees down in the 5 acre yard at the ranch house, and hundreds down around the 350 acre ranch, with over a hundred across fence lines ( I think the count for hopeful USDA rebuilding fund help was 124 down across 1,500 worth of exterior perimeter fence that had to be rebuilt).

Anywhere here are a few photos of them taken over the last 2 weeks
 

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DonTom

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Isaac-1 said:
We have a pair of bald eagles nesting in a pine tree behind the house on the family ranch in western Louisiana where I store my motorhome, we first spotted the nest a couple of weeks ago.  I don't know if this is a young pair with their first nest or an older pair rebuilding as this is along the devastation path of hurricanes Laura and Delta with 130mpg and 95 mph winds respectively (LSU Ag center estimates $1.2 Billion in timber losses).  In the immediate area probably half the large pine trees lost their tops, and perhaps 1 in 4 were felled / broken off / uprooted by the storm.  We had 22 trees down in the 5 acre yard at the ranch house, and hundreds down around the 350 acre ranch, with over a hundred across fence lines ( I think the count for hopeful USDA rebuilding fund help was 124 down across 1,500 worth of exterior perimeter fence that had to be rebuilt).
I have seen Bald Eagles several times when out hiking or backpacking. They were always in a pair and overlooking a lake or pond, each and every time from up high in a pine tree.


I was wondering if there is water below them too.


Here in Auburn, we have wild turkeys all over. They come to my front yard here once in a while.


-Don-  Auburn, CA
 

Isaac-1

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There is not water directly below them, though there are 3 ponds of between 1/2 to 2 acres within 1,500 feet of the nest, as well 2.5 acre pond where the nearest corner is about 550 feet from the nest, all of which are likely visible from their perch height depending on other obstructing trees.

Here is a photo I took yesterday about 20 minutes before sunset of one of the eagles perch on a post by the far end of the largest pond about 900 feet from the nest, sorry about the quality it is cropped from a cell phone photo taken out the window of my car when I was about 120 feet away.  It took off when my car was about 75 feet away (I had to drive past that post to get to the main road), it circled around and landed on one of the other post after I drove by.

p.s. as you might guess from the photo as of last year we now have good AT&T cell coverage on the ranch, it went from stand in the yard in just the right place to get 1 bar of signal, to great for some reason. (the tower is further away than it appears in the photo about 1/2 mile)
 

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SeilerBird

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Good shots Isaac. I am sure you know this already but I mention it for others reading this. Bald Eagles are no longer on the endangered species list, thank goodness, but there are serious penalties if you get caught too close to their nest. That is a very small nest for a BE. Every other BE nest I have seen have been much larger.

I spent a lot of time watching two BE chicks hatch and then raised over a few month period. They grow exceptionally  fast. The BE cam I was following was located in Ft Myers, 150 miles south of me. So one fine day I drove down to see the kids in person. I spent about two hours watching them fly around. Here are my photos from that day:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/1XyA0nTuulnIAubw1

And here is the web site of the BE cam:

https://dickpritchettrealestate.com/
 

Isaac-1

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We are doing what we can to minimize disturbing them, however they were the ones that chose to build a nest so close to the house when there are other trees on the ranch closer to the other more remote ponds, so my guess is they are not very disturbed by our routine activity.  The house is located between the tree they chose and the largest pond, so there are even other potential nesting trees equal distance to that pond but further from any house, road or structure.  The first 2 photos posted from today were taken while I was sitting in a chair within arms reach of the standby generator at the ranch house, I had left the chair out there from when I was working on the generator just before Christmas. Only about 220 feet from the nest according to google maps satellite view measuring tool.
 

SpencerPJ

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Great pictures, very cool.  Keep your smaller house pets, cats etc, close by.  Them Eagles will snack them in a second.
 

edjunior

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Very cool, and great pictures.  We have a lot of hawks around here.  I got this one just as I stepped out of my driveway on my early morning walk with my dog.  This is right across the street from our house, one down.  My neighbor says she sees them on the neighbors chimney quite a lot.
 

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Isaac-1

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Speaking of members of the hawk family we had a Kestrel (smallest member of the hawk family) that used to perch on top of the motion activated wifi gate camera at the family ranch (the camera was destroyed in hurricane Laura and replacing it is somewhere on the to do list).  Occasionally it would swoop in for a  landing and the camera would catch a close up image of it about a foot or two away with its talons outstretched for landing and wings spread.  Other times we would get a recorded image of just tail feathers in front of the lens when it turned around.
 

jymbee

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Isaac-1 said:
We have a pair of bald eagles nesting in a pine tree behind the house on the family ranch in western Louisiana where I store my motorhome, we first spotted the nest a couple of weeks ago.  I don't know if this is a young pair with their first nest or an older pair rebuilding as this is along the devastation path of hurricanes Laura and Delta with 130mpg and 95 mph winds respectively (LSU Ag center estimates $1.2 Billion in timber losses).  In the immediate area probably half the large pine trees lost their tops, and perhaps 1 in 4 were felled / broken off / uprooted by the storm.  We had 22 trees down in the 5 acre yard at the ranch house, and hundreds down around the 350 acre ranch, with over a hundred across fence lines ( I think the count for hopeful USDA rebuilding fund help was 124 down across 1,500 worth of exterior perimeter fence that had to be rebuilt).

Anywhere here are a few photos of them taken over the last 2 weeks

Very cool and GREAT shots!

Hard to overstate the damage these storms do to man as well as nature. Here's a shot I took when walking through the area around Three Rivers State Park in the Florida panhandle last March. Hard to image what it must have been like if one was actually in that area. Virtually no trees unaffected.

Glad to see these guys are coming back!
 

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Isaac-1

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Jymbee, To give you an idea of the storm damage, here is a photo of the yard taken the day after Laura from nearly the exact same spot as the photo of the eagle on the post, just facing about 45 degrees left, you can see the same pond that is to the back of the eagle in the background.  Note all those things on the ground that look like shrubs are downed trees.  You can't really tell but straight ahead in the photo the white rock driveway turns green from all the shredded vegetation (the highways all looked like they were covered with grass clippings right after the storm), then is blocked by multiple downed trees.

Second photo is the vacant lot next to my house in town, again everything you see at ground level is downed limbs / trees, it was a cleared lot with just trees on it prior to the storm, no real shrubs or hedges, looking like the grass you can see in the foreground all the way across.  Prior to Laura I never saw bright sunlight at the side door of my house due to all the trees on the neighboring lot, now the light shines in throughout much of the day, as even the trees that are left have mostly lost their tops and major limbs
 

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ArdraF

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Great photos, Isaac, and thanks for sharing both them and the commentary.

ArdraF
 

PopPop51

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Greta photos!
Bald Eagles tend to return to the same nest year after year and generation after generation, so maybe they'll become regular "snowbirds" on your property.
They'll add to the nest every year they return. There's one well-known nest along one of Kennedy Space Center's main roads that's now about the size of a small car. It dwarfs the birds that occupy it.
We have a pair of Gray-Shouldered Hawks nesting somewhere nearby. I haven't found the nest yet, but they like to hang out in the tree right outside my office window and on our back fence.
 

Isaac-1

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Glad too, unfortunately no new pictures today, I guess they are off flying around, it is a nice day here, my guess is they have not laid eggs yet as they were both off the next perched on branches near the nest as of yesterday.  I have not seen either of them since yesterday afternoon, though I did hear one calling a bit ago, though it was not on the tree with the nest.  From what I have read we are approaching the end of egg laying season for this area, which according to the state dept of wildlife runs from late November through mid January.  Though having said that I suspect the eagles don't know how to read a calendar, and overall this has been a crazy winter, with a few unseasonably cold nights, but otherwise much warmer than average, no telling what the eagles think.

p.s. the eagles around here don't tend to migrate, If they do it is not far as I have seen them almost year round.
 

DonTom

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SpencerPJ said:
Great pictures, very cool.  Keep your smaller house pets, cats etc, close by.  Them Eagles will snack them in a second.
Don't think eagles are  afraid of larger animals.


For those who can handle how cruel mother nature can be, see here.


This one isn't as bad as some of the others showing eagles doing their thing.


And kids are not that safe from eagles either.



-Don-  Auburn, CA
 

jymbee

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Isaac-1 said:
Jymbee, To give you an idea of the storm damage, here is a photo of the yard taken the day after Laura from nearly the exact same spot as the photo of the eagle on the post, just facing about 45 degrees left, you can see the same pond that is to the back of the eagle in the background.

Amazing. And to think that it wasn't all that  long ago-- before sophisticated satellite weather systems-- folks would have no idea that one of these storms was bearing down on them. Must have been quite a shock when one hit.
 

edjunior

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We drove from Texas to Florida after Hurricane Michael came through there.  Coming through Florida on I-10, it was amazing to see the trees laying down from east to west, and as we drove a little further, they were laying down to the north, then from west to east.  It was pretty sad to see all those pine trees down like that.  I had never seen anything like that.  Truly devastating.
 

Isaac-1

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Historically the storm around here people talk about is Audrey https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Audrey which hit within a few miles west of where Laura hit killing over 400 people in 1957. Audrey hit as a very early season cat 3 hurricane, basically those that did not leave died.  I have heard stories of people that stayed behind near the coast that survived by tying themselves to trees after the houses blew away. I have also heard stories of people watching the flat bed trucks loaded down with body bags coming into Lake Charles from the coastal areas.

p.s. Michael was a Cat 5 with max wind speeds of 160 mph at landfall, Laura was a strong Cat 4 with wind speeds of 150 mph at landfall (Cat 5 is 151 mph and up), the bad thing about Laura is it maintained its winds as it came inland, and still had 130 mph winds when the eye went over my house 80+ miles inland.  (it was still at Cat 1 wind speed until reaching southern Arkansas)
 

SeilerBird

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edjunior said:
We drove from Texas to Florida after Hurricane Michael came through there.  Coming through Florida on I-10, it was amazing to see the trees laying down from east to west, and as we drove a little further, they were laying down to the north, then from west to east.  It was pretty sad to see all those pine trees down like that.  I had never seen anything like that.  Truly devastating.
You should have seen the Yellowstone fire of 1988. I went to Yellowstone 15 years later and it was still a disaster. Thousands of dead pine trees. Some laying over, some still standing, all dead.
 
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