Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Teryl G. Grubb; Larry A. Forbis; Marta McWhorter; David R. Sherman
    Date: 1988
    Source: Wilson Bulletin 100 (2) 302-305
    Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
    PDF: Download Publication  (260 KB)


    Replacement of lost mates within the same nesting season has been recorded in 26 raptor species (Newton 1979). Only three species (Cooper’s Hawk, Accipiter cooperii; Northern Goshawk, A. gentilis; and Peregrine Falcon, Falco peregrinus) have exhibited full adoption, i.e., incubation of eggs and/or rearing of young by an unrelated, replacement mate (Rohwer 1986). Neither mate replacement within the same season nor adoption has been recorded for Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus). Herrick (1932) describes two Bald Eagle mate replacements of 11 and 14 weeks’ duration, but both occurred over winter (October-February), prior to nesting. Adoption may be adaptive for long-lived species, through establishment of a pairbond for future seasons, if: (a) following mate loss and nest failure, renesting within the same season is unlikely; (b) the probability of starting the next breeding season with an established pairbond is increased with adoption; and (c) experienced pairs tend to have higher breeding success than new pairs (Rohwer 1986).

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Grubb, Teryl G.; Forbis, Larry A.; McWhorter, Marta; Sherman, David R. 1988. Adaptive perch selection as a mechanism of adoption by a replacement Bald Eagle. Wilson Bulletin 100 (2) 302-305


    Bald Eagles, Haliaeetus leucocephalus, adoption

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page