An unwelcome intruder made repeated attacks on a bald eagle nest filled with soon-to-hatch eggs this week at Standley Lake Regional Park in Colorado.
It all started on Monday afternoon in Westminster. According to the Standley Lake Regional Park, an intruding female bald eagle – larger than both the mother and father eagles – started attacking the nest and pecking at eggs. The pair of parenting eagles defended their nest several times.
On Tuesday afternoon, the father eagle was spotted with another eagle who had blood on its face and feet. Though it was initially unclear whether or not the bird was the intruder or mother, Colorado Parks and Wildlife later advised the park that the bloody eagle was likely the mother because the father was not seen attacking her. The bloody eagle who then fled from the nest may not return until she’s fully regained strength.
Though the latest update from the park says there are still more no signs of the mother eagle, the father eagle has continued to roll and incubate the eggs as if they are normal and healthy.
Here’s a video of one of the attacks captured by the eagle cam monitored through Standley Lake Regional Park.
It’s unclear what will happen next. There are no visible signs of damage to the eggs, but if they were to hatch, it’s unlikely the chicks will survive with only one parent.
Eggs typically hatch 35 days after they are laid. The young typically leave the nest from late June to early July, which is about 72 days after hatching.
As a reminder, bald eagles are federally-protected. If you see an eagle or nest, do not approach under any circumstances. For updates, check the Standley Lake Facebook page.