When a bald eagle takes a mate, the two fall for each other – in a spectacular, plummeting courtship ritual

by duceditor

Ellen Tinsley is acutely aware of the behavior and patterns of bald eagles in North Carolina. The retired equine veterinarian is a bald eagle monitor for the United States Army Corps of Engineers. She spends most mornings at Jordan Lake tracking the behavior of Petruchio, Kate, Hershey and Godiva – eagles who have nested in the area. 

Two eagles flying

Among the rituals she has witnessed is one called a ‘death spiral,’ where a pair of bald eagles plummet to the earth with their talons entwined to test each other’s compatibility as a mate.

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Host Frank Stasio speaks with Tinsley about the history of the bald eagle population in North Carolina.

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Tinsley will lecture about bald eagles Saturday, July 15 at 2 p.m. and Saturday, August 12 at 2 p.m. at the Jordan Lake State Recreation Area Visitor Center. Her research is also compiled in an e-book entitled “Bald Eagles: Jordan Lake Neighborhood.”

Bald Eagles – Sex On The Ice – Feathered Photography
Bald Eagles – Sex On The Ice – Feathered Photography

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