I know of three established bald eagle nests in Cass County and they’ve been active for a handful of years. What the adults do once the nesting season is over is somewhat of a mystery. Do they depart or do they stay?
I only say this because the species has become a nearly expected find all year long. It wasn’t that far in the past when a notion such as this would be unheard of.
Short of banding or GPS-tracking the adults, I guess we’ll never really know just which birds are present during winter. I’m only guessing when I say the adult birds which appear frequently in winter near the nest sites are likely the actual nesters themselves. Of course, it could be that birds from elsewhere are simply hanging around an obvious nest for whatever reason. Again, we can only speculate without proof. Still, it’s a pleasure to see them in the dead of winter like this one recently in West Fargo.