Turtle Bay’s Nesting Bald Eagles Patriot and Liberty
Since 2006 a pair of Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) nesting at Turtle Bay in Redding California have successfully raised a dozen eaglets! The past three years the eagle pair dubbed Patriot (the male) and Liberty (the female) have been watched by thousands on an EagleCam installed by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans).
This year when the pair returned to Turtle Bay, they decided to build a new nest in an adjacent tree. Hence, no webcam. Instead they are being observed by several ardent followers giving reports on their progress. You can see Liberty here with one of the two new eaglet’s head just visible in the center of the photo (click on photos for full sized images).
During the first few weeks of the young eaglet’s life, the male provides most of the food and the female spends more time tending the young in the nest.
Here you can see Liberty waiting in anticipation for her mate to bring something to eat.
Not to disappoint, Patriot flies in a fresh fish from the Sacramento River.
She looks over his offering…
and immediately begins picking it apart to feed the eaglets.
She tears off bite sized pieces for the youngsters and begins feeding them, first one, then the other.
You can barely see the two fluffy eaglet heads above the rim of the nest in this photo.
About twenty minutes after Patriot dropped off the fish, as I was photographing Liberty finishing up her gentle, deliberate feeding of these tiny morsels to the eaglets, I see Patriot in the background, flying behind the nest tree to a nearby Cottonwood.
When I rushed over to see what he could be up to, I found this.
He was perched on a branch plucking an American Coot! This provider doesn’t mess around!
When he brought the plucked Coot back to the nest, his mate seemed to be wondering what she was going to do with all this food.