Golden Eagle on nest

First egg of the season but not the first egg she ever laid.

I adapted Maria’s hunting season so she could end early and gain enough weight to lay an extended number of eggs. Usually I encouraged her through egg pulling to lay up to five eggs. I reasoned this to being similar to throwing darts at a board with the aim of hitting the bulls eye. The more throws you have the better your chances.

Well, as I was getting spasmodic amounts of eagle semen and I was also using voluntary artificial insemination to attempt to fertilise her eggs. The more eggs she laid (within reason) the more chances I had of fertilising one.

Maria was wonderful with me at the eyrie, she has even laid eggs into my hand. When incubating she would wait for me to come to the eyrie before leaving the eggs in my care. I would cover them and sit on a side perch whilst she stretched, soaked her feet in cool water and eat a small meal.

When she returned it was amazing to watch how she managed to fold up those huge talons as she carefully stepped around her eggs or young chicks. In all the years she never once damaged an egg.