While you might be cozy and warm by your fire during some of these wintery days, do you ever take your imagination out into the bush and wonder what our wildlife is up to?
Our largest bird of prey, the Wedge-tailed Eagle, has its mind on nesting, with some of the first breeders now with eggs. This means that those dedicated female eagles are sitting tight on their nests, even in some of the heaviest downpours, to keep the precious eggs warm.
Another nest on the Swan Coastal Plain near Perth, used successfully in 2011, has been refurbished this year. I was thrilled yesterday to discover it was active, with the first freshly laid egg laid in a bed of Eucalypt leaves:
You might wonder why eagles are nesting now, when the weather is wet and they have to sit in the rain to keep their eggs warm and dry. Why not wait until Spring when it’s a bit drier? This is not definitely known, but in nature everything happens for a reason. It is highly likely that eagles lay eggs now so their chicks hatch during the time when their prey is most abundant. In about six weeks when this egg will be an eaglet, the environment is seething with young kangaroos, rabbits, baby birds and reptiles who are emerging from winter hibernation, all things that a Wedge-tail would pounce on for a meal. If they laid later in the year, the eaglets would be growing up when all the other wildlife is dispersing or going into hiding for the hot Summer months.