January 1, 2021
In winter, a male eagle’s fancy turns to love

By Mary Reid Barrow

In spring a young man’s fancy turns to love,  or so said Alfred Lord Tennyson.

But Tennyson didn’t know much about male eagles. Here, they have other ideas. Why wait for spring?

One handsome guy at Honeybee Golf Club  turned his thoughts to love on a recent cold December day. And Pam Monahan was waiting with her camera to document the event:

Perhaps on the very same wintery day, another  male eagle was perched in a tree snag off the marsh bridge on the 64th Street trail at First Landing State Park.  His honey was perched behind him in another snag.

In time. he spun enthusiastically off from his branch  and flew back to her.  For an instant, it looked like he was going to land on her back to mate also.

But not this time.  He perched on the branch right beside her, nestled close and they began to chortle sweet nothings in each other’s ears.

Eagles have high-pitched calls for such big birds, and their sweet love songs are even more uncharacteristic, yet feel unmistakable.

All over Hampton roads, eagles don’t wait for spring but lead off the nesting season as early as December and January.

At First Landing,  the eagles’ nest is back in the park’s wooded area and not visible from the trail, though the eagle pair can often be seen in the marsh.  The eagle nest at Honey Bee Golf Club  is easy to see and has been well documented by Pam Monahan and other photographers.

Pam, also  a LRNow volunteer, is the founder of the Honey Beeagles and More Facebook page which is a running story 0f almost a decade of the life and loves of eagles in that one nest.

This time of year in between indulging in their  courtship fancy, eagles are rebuilding their huge stick nests, often in the high  crook of a great big pine tree.

Some are on their nests as early  as late January and definitely by February. The incubation period of the eggs is about a month.  So baby eagles are  born by late February or early March , long before a young man’s fancy has turned to love.

Follow the eagle pair at Honey Bee Golf club on Honey Beeagles and More Facebook page,  founded by Pam Monahan.  The site documents the life and times of the eagles that have lived in the nest since it was built in 2013.

Do you have a favorite tree or plant with a story to tell?  What relationships have you observed  between plants and critters?  Who eats whom?  Who has babies where?   Send an email to


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