White-tailed eagles and "98"
Images from webcam: Urmas, Michi, Mutikluti)
The white-tailed eagle pair that we watch is not quite typical because the female is smaller than the male. But so what, the male will take more of the protection of the nest on himself. He looks active and capable.
Just as there would not be an Estonian state without the events of 98 years ago, so we would not have a white-tailed eagle nest to watch either if the ancestors of these white-tailed eagles a hundred years ago had not been busy in the same way even then – waiting for their mate, getting offspring.
The female that has arrived in the nest can also be seen as an Estonian national symbol– she has rings in the national colours on her legs (we know that she was born 50 km to the south and we have no earlier records of having met her). Estonia as country of birth is indicated by the blue-and-white ring on the right leg and the hatching year 2009 by the black-and-blue ring on the left leg. Today there is nothing particular in that combination but in 1984 when we started to use coloured rings for Estonian white-tailed eagles, our Swedish colleagues arranged for us to be able to use our national colours officially for three consecutive years. Of course such a fringe benefit increased our interest in ringing white-tailed eagles – who would not at that time have wanted to use the national colours in ringing. And the result was soon visible to all – in 1987 we could already wave our national flag (without any great fear).
Although it will still take time until the egg-laying, nest lining materials are already noticeable. The male tested the camera cable too with its beak, luckily Omar put a double protective layer on it when we completed the system, and the cable did not turn out to be very interesting.