Enjoy a few of these interesting images from past seasons at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge Bald Eagle nest!
With head tucked beneath a wing, the incubating adult begins waiting out a winter storm in 2015.
Snow is a common event that Oklahoma’s nesting eagles must deal with. Eggs can be left unattended for a longer duration when temperatures are warm, but are left exposed only briefly when cold weather prevails.
Bald Eagle nests can be used for many years, and adjustments are frequently made to enlarge or improve them. Here, an eagle moves a stick that wasn’t in quite the right place.
Eggs must be rotated frequently to keep the developing embryo healthy.
Because large nests can be reused for many years and require a lot of time and energy to create, they attract many visitors looking for potential nest sites. An immature Bald Eagle visited the nest briefly in 2014, but was probably driven out of the territory of the resident pair of eagles who were using an alternate nest site nearby.
This pair of Ospreys visited the nest in April of 2013. Also known as “fish hawks” because of their diet, Ospreys are fairly common spring and fall migrants in Oklahoma, and may start to become a more common nesting species in Oklahoma as their population continues to grow throughout their U.S. range.
In 2013, Bald Eagles laid an egg in the nest, but subsequently abandoned the nest, apparently due to harassment from another eagle or eagle pair trying to take over their territory. To the amazement of nest camera viewers, a Great Horned Owl moved in, laying two of her own eggs and incubating them along with the abandoned eagle egg.
This close-up view shows hailstones accumulating around the tail of the incubating female owl during a storm.
Great Horned Owls have been known to successfully incubate eggs at temperatures as low as -25 F. This February snowstorm did not deter the owl, but within a week after this storm, when the weather had improved, the eggs disappeared from the nest.
This view of the nest in 2012 shows three eagle chicks. Age differences are apparent here, with the youngest chick still in gray down, while the two older siblings are growing their first feathers.