Sticks, leaves and a big strong tree are the building blocks of an eagle’s nest.
This beautiful photo of our national symbol with a pine tree stick in its talons, taken by Pam Monahan, is just one illustration of the simple but oh, so, important ways that trees are life supports for eagles and so many other species, including us humans.
The eagle is carrying a stick to its nest down in the crook of a big pine tree, at Honey Bee Golf Club. The tree provides a strong foundation for the eagle’s home and photographer Monahan has been following the nest there for almost a decade.
When Monahan took the photos, she said she was reminded of all the benefits trees provide for just birds alone. Birds, other than eagles, also use trees for nests and they glean insects from tree bark. Many birds dine on fruits and nuts from trees and use tree leaves to cushion their nests too.
Monahan’s second photo is of one of the eagle pair doing just that, picking up leaves from yet another tree to embed in their nest to make a cozy crib for newborn eaglets.
Eaglet babes should be born in February but they won’t be the first youngsters to occupy this nest. One eagle nest can be a home for generations of little ones.
Eagles depend on tree materials to enhance their nest year after year while relying on one all-important tree as a foundation. People use a variety of materials to renovate and add to their homes as the years go by, but lumber is an all-important ingredient in human homes too.
Eagle nests gets stronger and bigger as time goes on. Nests can be several feet wide, several feet deep and weigh well over a ton, thanks to trees.
The eagle real estate market is good. An eagle pair returns to its nest year after year. If for some reason, the eagles don’t come back, well-constructed nests often become the cause of a fiercely fought bidding war between eagle pairs.
Which goes to show it’s hard to put a price on what trees do for eagles or for us for that matter.