Grand Theft Nest

Some birds build their nests. Some birds use abandoned nests other birds have built. I am going to give the latter category of bird the benefit of the doubt and assume that when they move into a found nest, they usually think it is uninhabited.

Louisa and I have been watching the National Arboretum Bald Eagle Nest Cam quite a lot and a couple of red-tailed hawks have recently been eyeing the bald eagles’ nest with the seeming intent of taking it for themselves. Scoundrels! It seems to me that the hawks know darned well the nest is not vacant.

Can you imagine how outraged the eagles must be? They designed, built and have maintained their nest for years. How irritating it must be to have to defend it from would-be thieves (don’t worry if you missed the livestream footage of the eagles defending their home – there is a video on YouTube you can still see).

Long ago I saw a similar scene: two downy woodpeckers came home to find their nest occupied by two tufted titmice. Alas, the woodpeckers appeared to be on the losing end of that conflict. From what I witnessed the tufted titmice were not going to move out. How frustrating it must have been for the woodpeckers to need to go peck a new nesting-cavity out of a different tree. Hopefully their new home was better than the one they lost – a possible silver lining. A girl can always hope!


3 responses to “Grand Theft Nest”

  1. Hi, Bernice. I can only imagine how maddening it is for the woodpeckers to have their home taken over by those pesky tufted titmice. Auntie NuNu’s drawing has you giving them the stink eye! Good for you. Also watched the YouTube of the DC Eagle Cam and saw how angry the bald eagle was towards the red-tailed hawks. I certainly wouldn’t want to get a bald eagle angry at me! Glad that you were able to watch with Louisa. Good that she is feeling better.
    By the way, I heard from Uncle Geoffrey who is travelling cross country right now. He is visiting some ranches in Montana, is enjoying seeing all the cows but says it is unbelievably cold with wind chill at -50 degrees. Wonder how he is keeping warm? Think I will put on a second turtle neck just thinking about it! Need to find some acacia leaves for a late morning snack! See you later.


  2. Dear Bernice,

    Thank you for writing all these amazing blog posts. We just came back to read this one, and watch the eagle cam again – and guess what we saw!! A Blue Jay hopping around the eagles’ nest!! Just like in your blog post! Do you think the Blue Jay will try to take over the nest? That doesn’t seem very wise – it is much much smaller than the eagles…

    We looooooove your blog posts… and we are excited to see there are some brand new ones we are about to get to enjoy!

    E and A


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