Eagles tag-team eating fish too big to fly with!

My kids will tell you I spend WAAYY too much time watching this eagle pair that nests on the island.  This will be the tenth year that they have built a nest on an osprey platform in the marsh outside our windows.  There is an additional osprey platform just off our porch that they land on, eat on, court on, and survey the surrounding marsh for prey.

We’ll keep you posted on these birds: their attention to their nest seems to be a little earlier this year (maybe a week) so we expect to see her sitting on the nest by about the third week of December.  In the meanwhile, check out the photo our friend Steve Perrin took with his phone from a seat on the porch, and one of them just hanging out:

I took the basic moments of about half an hour of watching and distilled them into the video above, but I filmed for about 17 minutes.  If you want to talk to your kids about watching nature, here is the uncut (and slow) version with no voiceover.  Things to look for:

  • Watch her keep an eye out for predators like coyotes or raccoons, which would probably steal her fish, or alligators, which wouldn’t hesitate to make a meal of her.
  • Watch how she systematically goes from top to bottom, getting the “innards” of the fish first because they have the best nutrients. 
  • Check out the completely unconcerned flock of wood storks huddled in the marsh. She flies past them on her way to the stumps and then the edge of the creek to get the scales off her beak.
  • There are a few seconds of the male waiting patiently on the platform, and my hunch is that he too is watching for predators.