Watching a Bald Eagle Nest
By Ken Schneider
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This page provides an ongoing acount of observations of the first active Bald Eagle nest in Broward County, Florida, since their population suffered a dramatic decline in the lower 48 States in the middle of the 20th Century. Only one other Bald Eagle nest had ever been reported in Broward County during the 21st Century. That nest was deep in the Everglades on the Miccosukee Reservation, but it was never found to contain eggs or young birds. More remarkably, this pair selected the City of Pembroke Pines for its homesite. They raised at least one eaglet during the winter and spring of 2007-2008, despite the hazards of nesting very close to densly populated housing developments, a major thoroughfare, a police shooting range and the new West Broward High School. Here, we will report on the eagles, to see whether they can succeed in raising another family at the same site. We will also follow the plans of a group of Middle School science students, as they develop and implement a study to determine whether and how traffic density may affect the birds' behavior.   

PEMBROKE PINES TAKES ACTION TO PROTECT THE BALD EAGLES (Highlights)
SPREADSHEET OF SIGNIFICANT EVENTS DURING EACH BREEDING SEASON (PDF)
OBSERVATIONS FROM 2008-2009 Breeding Season
NEW LINK: PROTECTING THE EAGLE NEST SITE
LINKS: HISTORY OF THE BALD EAGLE NEST
BALD EAGLE SANCTUARY STEERING COMMITTEE DOCUMENTS (PDF):

Click here to see Ken's entire FLICKR Eagle Photo Collection

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SELECTIONS FROM KEN'S BLOGS <Index to all Blogs>

Eagles migrate in opposite directions while fish move up and down

Eagle Flying 20090203Those of us who have been watching our local pair of Bald Eagles and their progeny for the past three breeding seasons are well aware that our Florida eagles are "contrarians" when it comes to migration. While nearly all other migratory birds head south after nesting and rearing their young, our local eagles do just the opposite-- they turn north. Well, this is not exactly the case, as Florida's adult Bald Eagles, especially those from the southernmost end of the peninsula, don't exhibit as much wanderlust during the non-breeding season. Generally, the adults tend to move about locally, or at most, regionally in the lower third of the Sunshine State, while younger (especially first-year) birds often become long-distance travelers...   Read full article on[Rosyfinch Ramblings]

Who “Owns” the Eagles?

Eagle Pair at Nest 20081211When a pair of Bald Eagles decided to set up housekeeping in a tall Australian Pine just off busy Pines Boulevard in Pembroke Pines, Florida, they initiated an interesting chain of events. They were first "discovered" in March of 2008 by Kelly Smith, a local Middle School science teacher, who saw adults and a nearly full grown eaglet in the nest. For a year or two before that, several local residents (and even a bus driver who regularly ran the Pines Boulevard route) had seen eagles roosting and carrying nest materials and prey in that general location. All known Bald Eagle nests in Florida are registered by the Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission and their locations are pinpointed on the FWC Web site, but the majority of South Florida residents are unaware that, among the lower 48 states, Florida is second only to Minnesota in the number of active eagle nests....  Read full article on[Rosyfinch Ramblings]

Eagles and Power linesAn essential ingredient of Bald Eagles' breeding habitat is the presence of suitable roost trees within sight of the nest. Our local pair of eagles is no exception, and they favor three or four tall Australian Pines along Pines Boulevard, as well as the trunks of melaleuca trees in the SW Florida Water Management District land just to the west of the proposed City of Pembroke Pines Bald Eagle sanctuary. These exotic trees were all killed by herbicides a few years ago. The are badly decayed and many fall down with each windstorm. As these roosting sites disappear, we can expect the eagles to seek out other prominent perches, such as power poles. Electrocution and collision with power lines are major causes of urban Bald Eagle mortality. On June 11, Bald Eagle Sanctuary Steering Committee members Barry Heimlich of South Florida Audubon, and veteran eagle watcher Trisha Norton met at the site of the Pembroke Pines nest with Doug Macke, Florida Power & Light Company Broward Area Power Systems Environmental Coordinator, to discuss this hazard. They were pleased to learn that Doug had been observing the eagles since last year, when the nest was first "discovered," and the company had already taken some action.  Read full article on[Rosyfinch Ramblings]


SELECTED EAGLE NEST OBSERVATIONS OF INTEREST OVER THE YEARS
 FULL EAGLE MILESTONE SPREAD SHEET AVAILABLE AT THIS LINK
   
REPORTED OBSERVATIONS 2007-2008 2008-2009 2009-2010 2010-2011 2011-2012      2012-2013 2013-20142014-2015
Date Date Hatch Day
(+/-)
Date Hatch Day
(+/-)
Date Hatch Day
(+/-)
Date Hatch Day
(+/-)
Date Hatch Day (+/-) Date Hatch
Day
(+/-)
DateHatch
Day
(+/-)
Florida FWC registered nest 9 APR 2008* - - - - - - - - - - - ---
Adult eagles first seen at nest - 02 DEC 2008 - 22 SEP 2009 - 01 SEP 2010 - 05 OCT 2011 - 27 SEP 2012 - 18
SEP

2013
-01
SEP
2014
Nest construction/revision - 03 DEC 2008 - 23 SEP 2009 - 16 OCT 2010 - 05 OCT 2011 - 29 OCT
2012
- 15
 OCT

2013
-01
SEP
2014
Copulation observed 4 DEC 2007 - - 13 DEC 2009 - 29 NOV 2010 - - - - - 26
NOV
 2013
-
First egg laid (estimated) - 13 DEC 2008 -35 18 DEC 2009 -34 11 DEC 2010 -35 11 DEC 2011 -35 24 NOV
2012
-35 07
DEC
2013
-35
First egg hatched (estimated) - 17 JAN 2009 0 22 JAN 2010 0 15 JAN 2011 0 15 JAN 2012 0*** 29 DEC
2012
0 11
JAN
2014
0
First eaglet seen 15 MAR 2008** 09 FEB 2009* 23 09 FEB 2010* 18 22 JAN 2011* 7 02 FEB 2012* 18 13 JAN
2013*
15 20
JAN
2014
9
Second eaglet seen - 15 FEB 2009** 29 09 FEB 2010** 18 29 JAN 2011* 14 - - 13 JAN
2013**
15 20
JAN
2013
9
Third eaglet seen - - - 09 FEB 2010*** 18 - - - - - - - -
Branching /helicoptering - 27 MAR 2009 69 05 APR 2010 73 16 MAR 2011 60 Never
observed
- 17 MAR 2013 only
heli-
copter
77 Heli-
coptering
22 MAR Branching 30 MAR 2014
70/78
First eaglet fledged - 04 APR 2009 77 13 APR 2010 81 24 MAR 2011 68 23 MAR 2012** 62 to 68*** 26 MAR 2013 86 03 APR
 2014
82
Second eaglet fledged - 06 APR 2009 79 18 APR 2010 86 26 MAR 2011 70 - - ** N/A 05 APR
 2014
84
Third eaglet fledged - N/A N/A 23 APR 2010 91 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Last feeding on nest - 01 JUN 2009 135 - - 20 MAR 2011 - - - 16 APR 2013 107 01  MAY
2014
110
Last eaglet seen on nest 01 JUN 2009 135 10 MAY 2010 108 11 APR 2011 86 - - 04 MAY 2013 121 01 MAY
2014
110
Last eaglet seen near nest - 04 JUN 2009 138 10 JUN 2010 139 27 APR 2011 102 - - 31 MAY 2013 148 03 JUN
2014
144
Last adult reported on/near nest 14 JUL 2009 178 20 JUN 2010 149 No report - - - 08 MAY 2013 125 06 JUN
2014
147

NOTES

EVENTS 2007-2008 2008-2009 2009-2010 2010-2011 2011-12 2012-13 2013-2014
FOOTNOTES REFER TO YEARS IN  MILESTONE TABLE ABOVE


Names  given to eaglets

(Middle School Contest
 2008-09 and 2009-10);

Eagle Facebook page 2013-14


Disturbances
* FWC Aerial survey
** "P Piney 1"
-
* "Hope"
** "Justice"
20 FEB 2009 Miami
Herald article attracted
crowds to nest; City
subsequently placed
 fence and parking
 restrictions in front of
 nest
* "Lucky"
** "Chance"
*** "Courage
-
* "P Piney 7"
** "P Piney 8"

15 MAY 2011 Roadway
construction  in front of
nest STARTED
* "P Piney 9"
** mortality assumed; ground search 30 MAR did not locate it
***this eaglet may have hatched 2-6 days after the first or second egg hatched or failed

01 OCT 2012  Roadway
construction  COMPLETED
*P Piney 10 & 11**P Piney 10 mortality assumed between 15 - 21 day of age Adults
given  names of
Pride (male)
 &
Joy (female)

18 JAN 2014 A third adult Bald Eagle appeared and was driven away by the pair.

INTERVALS (DAYS)

EVENTS 2008-2009 2009-2010 2010-2011 2011-2012 2012-2013 2013-2014 AVERAGE MEDIAN REMARKS
Period between adult arrival and egg laying Unknown 87 56 67 58 49 73.2 68 Data collection commenced  after adults arrived in 2008
Incubation period 35 34 35 35 35 35 34.8 34.5 -
Age when first eaglet fledged 77 81 68 ~65 (62-68) 86 82 ~76.5 ~73 Age of 2011-2012 eaglet estimated 
Days between first branching and eaglet fledging 8 8 8 N/A 4 4 6.4 6 Branching not observed 2011-2012
Age of eaglet when last seen at nest 138 139 102 ~64 (61-67) 103 110 118.4 120.5 2011-2012 data not included in avg/mean (fledgling eaglet not observed)
Days eaglet remained at nest after fledging 61 27 34 N/A 66 28 43.2 46.5 2011-2012 data not included in avg/mean

PRIDE & JOY'S FAMILY ALBUM
(FULL EAGLE MILESTONE SPREAD SHEET IS AVAILABLE AT THIS LINK)
No. SEASON EAGLET NAME HATCH DATE FLEDGE DATE REMARKS PHOTO
(click for larger image)
1 2007-08 P Piney 1 ? 15 MAR 2008
          *
*Nest discovered after fledging P Piney 1
2 2008-09 Hope 17 JAN 2009 4 APR 2009 Justice
3 Justice ~19 JAN 2009 6 APR 2009
4 2009-10 Lucky 22 JAN 2010 13 APR 2010 Lucky Chance Courage
5 Chance ~24 JAN 2010 18 APR 2010
6 Courage ~26 JAN 2010 23 APR 2010
7 2010-11 P Piney 7 15 JAN 2011 24 MAR 2011 P Piney 7 & 8
8 P Piney 8 ~17 JAN 2011 26 MAR 2011
9 2011-12 P Piney 9 15 JAN 2012 23 MAR 2012
          **
**Never seen after fledging; mortality assumed; appeared small for age; may have fledged too early; unconfirmed report of loss of earlier sibling P Piney 9
10 2012-13 P Piney 10 29 DEC 2012 26 MAR 2013 P Piney 10
11 P Piney 11 ~31 DEC 2012 *** ***30 MAR 2013 Mortality assumed, when ground search failed to locate P Piney 11
12 2013-14 Honor
11 JAN 2014 03 APR 2014 P Piney 12 & 13
13 Glory ~13 JAN 2014 05 APR 2014



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Bald Eagles of Broward County, Florida