2010 SEASON: AJABU
AJABU - the swahili word for Wonder, was our first chick since taking over the monitoring of the eagle pair, since the previous male was replaced by Kuishi. Ajabu was first spotted as a fledged juvenile in the poort on Sunday 3 October 2010, soon after Ajabu vacated the area. As we have no breeding detail on him, or fledging data - it is almost impossible to say for certain if it was male or female (due to him being smaller than the female, consensus is that he was a male)...
2011 SEASON: SERABI
This breeding cycle started with the first egg being laid on 6 April 2011 and the second on 10 April 2011. Incubation was for 45 days, on 19/20 May 2011, the first egg hatched followed by the second egg on 24/25 May 2011.
Visual confirmation was made of the first chick was made on 21 May 2011, as there was no camera on the nest at this time... On 28 May both Chicks were photographed on the nest. Cainism took effect and on Tuesday 31 May 2011, only one chick was visible in the nest.
The 2011 chick was a Female bird and was Named SERABI - the Swahili word for mirage. The chick spent 102/104 days on the nest before she fledged on 1 September 2011. Serabi was the second chick since 2010 and she was a very strong and healthy bird.
2012 SEASON: MANNA (Linda Rossouw Named)
This breeding cycle started with the first egg being laid on 4 April 2012 and the second on 10 April 2012, and the third on 15 April 2012. Incubation was for 45 days, on 30 May 2012, the first egg hatched followed by the second on 4 June 2013 and third on 8 june 2013.
Visual confirmation was made of the first chick was made on 22 May 2012, of two chicks and one egg, as there was no camera on the nest at this time... On 26 May 2012 the third chick was seen being bullied by the eldest sibling. Cainism took effect but due to three eggs hatching it took an excruciating 13 days.
The 2012 chick was a male bird and was Named MANNA - which means 'from heaven'. The chick spent 92 days on the nest before she fledged on 21 August 2012. Manna was the third chick since 2010 and he was a fast learning male bird. Kuishi was confirmed reacting towards him on 29 September 2012 by chasing the juvenile all over the place, and again on 26 & 27 October 2012.
2013 SEASON: M'LILWANE (Nest-cam first installed)
This breeding cycle started with the first egg being laid on 15 April 2013, the second on 19 April 2013 and the third on 24 April 2013. Incubation was for 46 days, on 30 May 2013, the first egg hatched followed by the second egg on 4 June 2013 and the third on 8 June 2013.
Cainism took effect and was completed by 9 June 2013.
The 2013 chick was a Male bird and was Named M'lilwane - the Swazi for 'litle fire'. The chick spent 90 days on the nest before he fledged on 29 August 2013. M'lilwane was very difficult to find on the weekend after fledging, but returned to the nest on several occasions, he was last seen in late October 2013
2014 SEASON: NTSWI (Birdlife Gauteng named)
This breeding cycle started with the first egg being laid on 19 April 2014 at the TELKOM TOWERS nest site, the second should have followed 3 to 4 days after that, but as there was no way of monitoring the site, or viewing into the nest, (No nest-cam on Telkom Towers) the previous are only speculated dates and numbers. Incubation followed until 24 May 2014, when the female was absent for an abnormally long period of time. It was confirmed on 25 May 2014 that the nest had been abandoned, but no reason is known for this.
The eagles soon moved back to their established nest site at Wonderboom Nature reserve (with Nest-cam) and started with nest refurbishment.
The second clutch of the 2014 breeding cycle started with the first egg being laid on 16 June 2014 and the second on 19 June 2014. Incubation was for 45 days, on 30 July 2014, the first egg hatched followed by the second egg on 2 August 2014.
Cainism took effect and on 8 August 2014, only one chick was visible in the nest.
The 2014 chick was a Female bird and was Named Ntswi - Tshonga for Black Eagle. The chick spent 101 days on the nest before she fledged on 8 November 2014. Ntswi spent a lot of time in the Nature Reserve, she was seen on various occasions and was last seen feeding with the adults on 18 November 2014. The last image taken of Ntswi was taken by the NestCam on 3 January 2015.
2015 SEASON: UkuKhanya (Herring Family Named)
This breeding cycle started with the first green sprays being brought to the nest on 4 April 2015, first Prey item was brought to the nest on 13 April 2015, Copulating was confirmed on 19 April 2015. The first egg being laid on 27 April 2015, the second on 1 May 2015 and the third on 5 May 2015. Incubation was for 45 days, on 11 June 2015, the first egg hatched followed by the second egg on 14 June 2015 and the third egg hatching could not be confirmed from footage. It appears that the third egg might have been infertile.
Cainism took effect and was completed by 20 June 2015.
The 2015 chick's sex could not be confirmed and was Named UkuKhanya - Zulu for 'from the light'. The chick spent 92 days on the nest before it fledged on 11 September 2015. Some great images were captured of Uku from the camera traps set up on the feeding terraces. The young eagle spent a lot of time in the reserve and on the mountain on the mayville/mountainview side. The last sighting of Uku was on 21 November 2015.
2016 SEASON: Bandile Banyana (Brett Family Named)
This breeding cycle started with the first green sprays being brought to the Telkom Towers nest on 28 March 2016, Copulating was confirmed on 16 April 2016. The first egg is expected to have been laid on 2 May 2016 and was confirmed on 8 May 2016 as the female was sitting tight, the second date could not be confirmed as there was no view inside the nest and a third egg could not be confirmed for the same reason. Incubation was for about 45 days, on 12 June 2016, the first egg hatched no confirmation of the second egg hatching or cainism could be confirmed.
The 2016 chick was a female and was Named Bandile Banyana - Shangaan for 'the family has grown with a girl'. The chick spent 97 days on the nest before she fledged on 15 September 2016. Bandile and the Adult eagles returned to the Nature Reserve and remained at the reserve for a couple more weeks, moving back and forth between the Tower nest site and the reserve. The last recorded sighting of Bandile was on 14 November 2016.
This year it was decided to move the nestcam to the Telkom Towers, as the Nature Reserve Nest Collapsed in 2015 due to extremely heavy rains, although some refurbishment of the Reserve nest had taken place, the structure was not thought to be sound enough to sustain a breeding season. Pieter and Natasja climbed the Telkom Tower and installed the camera in early January 2016 (56 meters off ground level). The camera proved it's worth even before the breeding started as trespassers were caught climbing past the nest site on the tower without Telkom's knowledge - The situation was resolved by Pieter and some Telkom Personel Driving to site and apprehending the trespassers. (who will be liable to a fine and/or jail time)