The 2012 breeding season has officially started for the Black Eagle Project - After visiting 11 nests in the Sandveld over the last 3 days I can confirm that 2 pairs have started incubation. Breeding dates across South Africa for this species have a wide variation: I heard from the Wonderboom Project that the pair had laid their first egg by April 15th. The Roodkrans pair laid their first egg on April 18th. Lucia Rodrigues informed me that the Cape Peninsula pair had laid by May 8th. Better late than never, it seems that the Sandveld and Cederberg lot are the last to come!
At one of the incubating nest in the Sandveld we were even lucky enough to witness a territorial fight with another intruding adult Black eagle which is truly magnificent... Although I couldn't capture it in action this illustration by Rob Davies is taken from Valery Gargett's book "The Black Eagle - A Study". Now it's watching and waiting how the season progresses.