16 October 2023
In case you missed it (ICYMI) there’s a new resident male bald eagle at Hays. The old male disappeared in early September. The new guy was obvious by late September.
“Dad” was one of the original eagle pair at Hays where nesting began in 2013. Pictured below in 2020 they fledged 20 youngsters in 10 years. The female was 4-5 years old when she arrived (14-15 years old now), but he was a full adult so no one knew his age. Bald eagles can live 30 years.
The newcomer, nicknamed V for visitor, became obvious as he set out to accomplish two important things in his early days of residence.
- Vigorously defend his new territory against other males,
- Court his new mate and cement their pair bond.
This extra level of activity drew Hays eagle fans’ attention to his presence. Viewers have seen V chase away other bald eagles and mate with the Hays female.
This is typical behavior among new peregrines, too. Long time residents don’t work hard to show who’s boss, but the newcomers do. The first time it happened at the Cathedral of Learning peregrine nest it took me a while realize that new behavior was a clue. See how I figured out the first male switchover at Pitt in this vintage article: Who is he? New male at Pitt.
Meanwhile V and the Hays female will be busy getting to know each other as nesting season approaches in December.
Read about the Hays eagle changeover in Mary Ann Thomas’ article in the Post-Gazette: With dad missing, Hays bald eagle finds a new, younger potential mate.
(photos by Dana Nesiti at Eagles of Hays PA on Facebook)