Great Horned Owl who stole Bald Eagle nest: A Pip or a Hatch????????

Bonnie and Clyde stole a Bald Eagle nest on a farm near Newton, Kansas on 1 February 2021. The couple must have been desperate to find a place to lay their first egg of the season.

The tallest tree in the centre is where the young Bald Eagles made their nest. It was stolen by a pair of Great Horned Owls on 1 February 2021 desperate to find a place for Bonnie to lay her egg/s.

When the Bald Eagles suspected ‘someone’ had been at their nest, they spent the night there – something unusual during off season. One of the Great Horned Owls knocked one of the eagles off the nest. On another day there was a confrontation on the nest when Bonnie defended her egg.

Her and Clyde have kept the nest safe with Clyde bringing in mice for Bonnie around sunset until right before sunrise.

On each of those occasions, Bonnie would take the mouse and quickly eat it. She would ‘hoot’ her thanks to Clyde before he flew away.

At 5:20 am on the 6th of March, however, the action at the nest was different. Clyde brought a mouse to their regular branch. This time Bonnie did not eat the mouse immediately but she took it and deposited it in the egg cup. Observers believe that the first – and maybe it is the only egg – hatched recently. Bonnie had been restless on 5 March sitting higher up in the nest and doing jugular fluttering. Many thought this was to regulate her temperate but it is observed that she is not doing that today and it is actually warmer. Was she encouraging her owlet to hatch?

The following sequence of images show Clyde arriving on the branch, Bonnie responding to him, going up to the branch to retrieve the mouse, and Bonnie returning to the nest to place the mouse in the egg cup.

Bonnie has been very secretive. We do not know if there is more than one egg and we do not know precisely when the first egg hatched. We only know from Bonnie’s changed behaviour that there is something in the nest that requires food or will require food.

I found a short video of a Great Horned Owl feeding her young owlets:

You might want to watch these happy changes at the nest. The link to Farmer Derek’s streaming cams is here:

Enjoy! Have a great weekend!

Thanks to Farmer Derek for providing two streaming cameras showing the action at the Bald Eagle Nest hijacked by Bonnie and Clyde, a pair of Great Horned Owls.

Bonnie is not giving up any secrets. The nest bowl is deep! Sun is setting. It is 6 March 2021.

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