Exhibition of arial agility

Haförn – White-tailed Eagle – Haliaeetus albicilla

We witnessed the courtship of a young pair of White-tailed Eagles in Snæfellsnes Peninsula in the week before Easter. They turned around in the air, clasped claws and flew in circles. Later they landed together in a heath not far from where we parked our car.

Is this one or two birds?

The White-tailed Eagle reaches puberty around the age of six, finds a mate and starts a life long relationship. The eagle usually stays in the same area and its territory is huge. The couple more or less stay in their territory or near it the whole year round. Competition for the best territories is hard. Sometimes they might stray from their territories in October to December but they come back before  courtship begins again in January.

Relaxing after a spin in the air

The eagle’s courtship begins with a spectacular exhibition of arial agility early in spring, followed by mating and breeding. Such shows of arial competence are also seen among other birds of prey and ravens.