Turtle Bay Bald Eagles Are Building a New Nest

by Larry Jordan on December 26, 2011

Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) Patriot and Liberty at Turtle Bay

Patriot and Liberty have been nesting successfully at Turtle Bay since 2006, fledging a dozen healthy eaglets from the same nest. They are a bit unusual, having twice fledged three healthy eaglets! Click on photos for full sized images.

This autumn they returned to Turtle Bay where they began building a new nest. For the past three years we were able to view their nesting activity on the Turtle Bay Eaglecam. Unfortunately, since they have begun building a new nest, only yards from the old one, the nest cam will not be available this season.

It is very interesting watching them build their new nest. Both partners are involved with constructing a nest which is among the largest of all birds. Patriot and Liberty’s previous nest was 5 1/2 feet wide and 5 feet deep during the 2010 nesting season1.

The nests are made of rather large sticks, interwoven into a pattern to fit the tree in which it is built.

I shot this video of Patriot and Liberty as they built their new nest in a large Cottonwood tree very close to their previous nest.

Interesting things I saw in the video were: at the 1:50 mark, the two eagles have a ritualistic tug of war over a small sick in the nest; at the 2:20 mark Patriot takes off from a lower perch and flies erratically as he searches for a stick to break off and bring back to the nest; at the 3:37 mark, as Patriot is working diligently trying to place a stick, Liberty is seen (seemingly) playfully grabbing Patriots tail,  but he appears to be all business.

Many times they seem to look down from their perch before taking off, apparently looking for appropriate sized sticks for the nest.

This beautiful pair of Bald Eagles should begin laying their eggs in February if past history is any judge, with eaglets coming in March.

One more look at the much smaller male, Patriot, waiting in the nest.

To see more great bird photos from all over the world, you gotta go check out World Bird Wednesday!

References: 1Turtle Bay Eagle Cam

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Mia McPherson December 27, 2011 at 4:32 am

Wonderful post Larry!


TexWisGirl December 27, 2011 at 6:41 am

just fascinating! i’ve never seen a bald eagle in person. to see this dedicated, successful couple working together is really something! thanks, larry!


Team Building Man December 27, 2011 at 8:10 am

Great pictures Larry- I’d just love to see one of these majestic birds in the wild but your pictures are the next best thing! Thanks.


heyBJK December 27, 2011 at 8:32 pm

Beautiful photos!


CaroleM. December 27, 2011 at 11:10 pm

magnificent photographs!


eileen December 28, 2011 at 12:54 am

Larry, Cool shots of the eagles at the nest!


Larry December 28, 2011 at 6:18 am

@Mia thank you! Love your wallpaper!

@Theresa they are a pleasure to watch and I know you have Bald Eagles down in Texas somewhere in the winter

@Brian thanks

@Carole thank you very much

@Eileen thanks. I will try to follow them fairly closely this year since the eaglecam is unavailable


holdingmoments December 28, 2011 at 6:55 am

Fascinating Larry. Must have been great to watch all this unfold. Loved the video.
And that’s a huge nest. Bigger than my house! lol


Boom & Gary December 28, 2011 at 9:06 am

Great sequence!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.


Andrew December 28, 2011 at 12:01 pm

Larry your images of your beautiful Eagles are fantastic to see…


Pat December 28, 2011 at 12:09 pm

These are great shots!


CameraCruise December 28, 2011 at 12:46 pm

Fantastic shots!
Beautiful, majestic birds, thanks for sharing.
Happy New Year.


Sallie (FullTime-Life) December 28, 2011 at 3:54 pm

Oh my gosh — this is just an amazingly beautiful post. Thank you for sharing .


Larry December 28, 2011 at 6:00 pm

@Keith these two are so much fun to watch when you can catch them at the nest. Once they start incubating it’s boring for about a month and a half until the chicks hatch

@Gary thanks

@Andrew thank you very much

@Pat thank you

@CC Happy New Year to you too!

@Sallie thank you very much


phyllis oller December 28, 2011 at 6:11 pm

That is great news that this pair are having little ones that you & others are documenting.We are having success in Pa.too,an article was just in our local paper about the eagles nesting nearby.Great pictures& story!phyllis


springman December 28, 2011 at 8:19 pm

To bad about the eagle cam but gosh you were able to get some brilliant footage Larry, what a great video!
Happy New Year!


nature rambles December 29, 2011 at 1:38 am

Such majestic birds! And the video’s so beautiful! Enjoyed the footage, the ritualistic tugging of the stick particularly.

Thank you for stopping by my blog. You might be interested to see some Indian Roller images here…http://nature-stop.blogspot.com/


Nicole December 29, 2011 at 6:45 pm

Looking forward to see a new round of these guys raising their young!
I am happy they came back :)!


OneJackdaw December 31, 2011 at 1:47 pm

Love the video, Larry. He seems a bit annoyed at her tail-grabbing antics! Happy New Year. Looking forward to many more of your interesting posts.


Julie G. January 2, 2012 at 8:10 am

Oh my goodness, such gorgeous birds! What a glorious experience to be able to observe the nest building. Your photographs are fantastic and the video is superb! I have caught glimpses of ospreys and Great Blue Heron building nest before but have never had the pleasure of viewing Bald Eagles busy at work. Thank you for sharing! Can’t wait to see the eaglets.


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