Dear Eagle Lovers,
We’ve had some interesting developments that occurred this year and would like to announce the beginning of a new, exciting Chapter for Black Eagle Project Roodekrans.
The 2016 breeding season started off in the normal way, with nest refurbishment, firstly by bringing dry branches and sticks to the nest, and progressing to lining the nest with green sprays to ensure a comfortable platform to lay and incubate the eggs.
However, as time went by, and no eggs were laid, we entered into period where speculations were the order of the day.
It was suggested that they could just be taking a gap year, which is a known fact amongst other eagle watchers. The aftermath of the severe drought experienced during our last rainy season was considered, and even the possibility of Emoyeni having become infertile due to her age.
We also noticed slight behavioural changes during this period. The fact that both male and female went on particularly long sorties, was unusual during this period, as the female would normally remain in close proximity of the nest prior to egg laying.
It was very interesting that one of the Black Eagle Project Roodekrans’ monitors spotted three adult Black Eagles in the immediate breeding area on Saturday 9 July 2016. There was no aggression witnessed between any of the Black Eagles on that day.
It is a known fact that it is extremely difficult to distinguish between different individuals of this species, and it was only when one of our official photographers noticed Thulane was accompanied by a new female, that we went into a deeper investigation.
This was indeed a great shock to all of us, but we have to accept that nature will take its own course and we as humans can only stand by and observe.
Emoyeni (Upon the Wind) has had a full life, reaching an age which is considered an achievement for a Black Eagle in the wild. She also raised many juveniles, with amazing breeding success over the time Black Eagle Project Roodekrans’ monitored her.
It is indeed sad that our most beloved Emoyeni is no longer in the immediate breeding area, but we are very grateful that Thulane managed to persuade a new young female to join him in what must be considered a very difficult environment.
Here follow a few photos of the new female taken by Ernest Porter
Black Eagle Project Roodekrans