Saturday, March 10th, 2018
I haven’t been this excited in a long time.
Back story: For the last couple of weeks, I’ve seen a Bald Eagle pair in our area. Flying over our house, perched in many big trees around the area (down our road, on Territorial, at Crow Hassan). We don’t get them too often in our area, but it’s not unheard of, so to be honest I didn’t think much about it.
Until the night the possum was in our front yard.
Yep, you read that right.
I was looking out the window the night before we left for Washington DC, and a large something was walking around in the field in our front yard. It was a possum. Now that is bizarre for many reasons. 1.) It was out during daylight, 2. It was close to our house (we later found tracks right alongside our front porch), and 3. It was walking in circles.
Then, this Bald Eagle came out of no where and swooped towards the possum, but ultimately landed right next to it in the field. I’m pretty sure my eyes bugged out of my head. Right there, right in front of me. I had never seen anything like it. So, naturally, what did Courtney do?
You guessed it – I ran for my camera.
But by the time I came back, the Possum was still wandering around, and the Eagle was gone. Our thought was that something must have been wrong with the Possum (rabies, maybe?) for the Eagle to not take it.
That was when I realized that the Eagles must be dedicated to this area – and close – because of how quickly it arrived.
Well then this afternoon, I drove back to the farm and saw a very large bird in one of the big trees back in our woods (see picture above). I pulled out my camera, snapped a quick picture, and zoomed in on the back of my screen to see exactly what kind of bird it was. Sure enough, it was an Eagle.
Luckily, Henna was preoccupied, so I snuck back to the woods hoping for a better look. By the time I got back there, the Eagle was gone (no surprise there). So I enjoyed a walk around the woods anyway.
When I made it back around, I just stood quietly in one spot with my eyes closed, listening to all of the songbirds that are starting to come back. Such a joyous, welcome sound! After a couple minutes, I opened my eyes again, and it just so happened that the Eagle was flying back over me.
I watched it land in a tree not too far from me, and started to make my way that direction. When I was finally able to get close enough that the trees didn’t completely obstruct my view, I noticed something really wonderful – can you see it in this photo?
Folks, I’m no Eagle expert, but that looks like a nest in that tree.
If that is truly what that is, and they do nest and hatch a brood there, it will be the most amazing thing. THE MOST AMAZING THING.
I. AM. SO. JAZZED.
Now, I did do some research on Eagles and nesting, and I’m not totally convinced it’s their primary nest (because of it’s small size), but there’s a chance!
According to my research, Bald Eagles in Southern Minnesota lay eggs/begin nesting mid-February. In Northern Minnesota, they begin April/May time frame. For pairs building new nests, it can take them 1-3 months, so January time frame (Southern MN), and March (Northern MN). I’m not sure what we would be considered, and if we can approximate halfway between those two time tables, but we’d be right on if that were the case. That nest could’ve been there for a few weeks, and I didn’t see it until the Eagle brought attention to it today.
The average size of a Bald Eagle nest is 4 to 5 feet in diameter and 2 to 4 feet deep. If we use the average size of an adult Bald Eagle (their body being 3 feet tall) as an indication from the second image, the nest looks like it could be 2 to 3 feet in diameter and one foot deep.
Now, I realize that this may not end up being their nesting site, but as it stands right now, this by far is the coolest discovery I have made in those woods.