The eagle pair is back in Magnolia! You’re going to want to watch this video taken at dusk last night by our neighbor Jim Manning. This video shows one of the eagles flying to a tree, ripping a branch off and returning to the nest. The eagle pair worked quite a while on the nest and hung around in the area long enough for us to witness them upon our return. Thanks neighbors for documenting this amazing feat!
I have been in contact with Mass Audubon regarding this eagle / hawk behavior, especially since we witnessed the same kind of activity at Little River. I had my suspicions and Marj. Rimes Wildlife Information Line at Mass Audubon shares the following. I believe this is what we are seeing. Amazing!
By this time of year most eagles are already on eggs. It’s not uncommon for a new pair to play house and build a nest that they don’t actually use, so I wonder if this is what is going on with this pair. Also, the behavior of robbing a Red-tail is unusual enough that I wonder if this is the same pair in both places. It would be fantastic is you could determine if the eagles are banded and if so, if you could determine the band information. Even if you can’t tell the number, if you can tell the band color it helps narrow down its origin: https://ccbbirds.org/what-we-do/research/species-of-concern/virginia-eagles/eagle-band/ The reason the band information would be cool is that it would let you age the bird. Eagles don’t breed until their fourth or fifth year, far more typically in the fifth year. But the fourth year birds are the ones most likely to “play house” by building a nest for practice.