Bald Eagles Nesting at Turtle Bay, Patriot and Liberty Raising Two Eaglets

by Larry Jordan on April 17, 2011

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) with Eaglet photos by Larry Jordan

This pair of  Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), Patriot and Liberty, have been nesting at Turtle Bay since the fall of 2004.  They fledged three eaglets, two years in a row, in 2009 and 2010, and have two, very cute nestlings this year.  You can read their full story here.

I took these photographs a week ago, on a sunny day with temperatures in the low 70’s.  With the leaves of the cottonwood tree in which the eagle’s nest resides just beginning to emerge, the nest was in nearly full sunlight and the eaglets were panting.

In this photograph, I believe is Liberty, the female, getting ready to leave the nest.  You can see the two eaglets below her outstretched wings.

After she leaves the chicks are staring off after her and panting.

A few minutes later she returns but appears to have nothing with her, you know, like a fish.

But wait, it appears that there is already food in the nest as she begins tearing off pieces of sushi and feeding it to the nestlings

You can see one of the eaglets in the back, the other one is down in the nest where Liberty has been reaching down with pieces of food.

She is shading the nest with her body

As she looks overhead, possibly at her mate, or possibly at the Red-tailed Hawk that had flown over earlier.

She is very aware of everything going on around the nest. She may be wondering what I am looking at as she stares back at me.

Notice that her right pupil is more dilated than the left from being shaded for several minutes while her left eye was exposed to direct sun.  I recorded some video of Liberty on the edge of her nest, apparently very content with her new eaglets.

You can watch a live cam of these Bald Eagles at the Turtle Bay Eagle Cam site. You can also see more great bird photos at Bird Photography Weekly!

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