Divebombing for love

It was once thought that eagle pairs mate for life, but if one mate dies or disappears, the other will find a new partner.

Photo: Wikimedia, Creative Commons

While it may ring a little hollow considering this year's "winter," we're excited to say that spring has finally sprung. For one piece of evidence, look to the skies: bald eagle mating dances.

In late winter eagles can be seen conducting bonding flights during which the pair grab feet and plummet toward the earth — then unlock just in time to fly safely up and away. This is also the time, depending on their location in Minnesota, when the birds either build new nests or add sticks to existing structures. Egg-laying and incubation follow soon.

So be sure to watch the skies, eagle pairs are all over the metro area. But since you're looking at a screen at the moment, here's a link to a Wisconsin eagle nest cam.

Submit your observations

Phenology is simply the seasonal changes that occur in nature; events tied to biological time. Phenology writings often note the first occurrence of an event — bloodroots starting to bloom, chorus frogs starting to sing — but that’s not required. So have at it. Go out, observe and tell us what you see!

Submit your observations, including the date and location, by selecting Tom Lewanski, Conservation Director — in the dropdown "Category" list on our online contact form. Feel free to also suggest a link to a good picture or two.

Need inspiration? Check out the St. Paul Belwin Outdoor Science See what we’re seeing site, or the Minnesota Phenology Network’s University of Minnesota or Facebook page.