Saturday, March 11, 2023

A Bald Eagle's Grief

The Friends of Big Bear Valley in California installed a camera in an eagle's nest in 2013. The current eagles they are watching are Shadow, who is male, and his mate Jackie. In this video, recorded on March 8, Shadow returns to the nest and finds that their eggs are gone. He has a hard time processing this. His usual behavior in the nest is to rearrange the sticks, when he isn't warming the eggs, but he cannot bring himself to do anything.

Jackie already understood that the eggs were not going to hatch, because they should have hatched two weeks ago. She seemed to be more prepared for the grief to come. Eventually, both parents left the nest for two days, and ravens ate the eggs, leaving no trace behind. The description at YouTube goes into more detail on how Jackie sat with Shadow at another perch outside the nest for hours as he processed the loss of the eggs. Shadow eventually returned to the nest to halfheartedly move some sticks around. They will try again next year. (via reddit)

1 comment:

Jane said...

OMG that was surprisingly sad. I never realized birds would have such a strong parental reaction. Dummy me