Jordan Lake, Bald Eagle nest report: H&G nest. I watched as Mom Godiva flew past me with some kind of bird in her talons. She had just gotten past me when I realized there was another eagle trailing her. By time I caught up with the other eagle it had started to land in the nest – almost on top of Godiva. It was one of the fledglings from this year‘s hatching at H&G nest. Mom Godiva was not going to have anything at all to do with the offspring. As you can see she promptly threatened it and said no way are you sharing this bird. The fledgling bailed out. Most parent eagles have finished any supplemental feeding of their offspring by about September. This youngster tried for food and it didn’t work. Please remember, nature is never cruel but she is harsh.

Here is a prime example of my father‘s favorite kind of temperature gauge. I photographed this red shouldered hawk yesterday morning when the wind chill factor was 35°F. Even if I had been sitting in my warm truck, I could have glanced over at this hawk and known that because he is almost as big around as he is tall … the air is cold. He has all of his feathers fluffed up as a nice warm blanket. Also note that he’s got his body lowered so that his feather blanket is mostly covering his feet … just like our warm winter slippers would do.

Jordan Lake: Pied-billed grebes are a winter visitor here. They come down and spend the colder months with us. What I find really neat about the pied-billed grebe is, that like all grebes, it has feet where each toe has a lobe surrounding it. These lobes make the foot look like a tree leaf as you can see here in this photo. This makes the little grebe a very fast underwater swimmer as it dashes about catching fish and crustaceans for its food. I always smile when I see these grebes because they sure look like they are shyly smiling at the world.

Jordan Lake: Kate and Petruchio, like all bald eagle mated couples, go through the rituals of courtship every year as a way to affirm their relationship. Here you can see Petruchio (closest to you) and next to him is Kate. They are talking loudly to each other… bald eagles love to chatter! Also note that Kate (as is true of all bald eagle females) is much larger than Petruchio. This is the beginning of this year‘s courtship. I surely hope that I can catch more of the sequence to share, but, only time will tell us that…

Jordan Lake: I always enjoy the plumage and beak patterns on the 4-year-old bald eagles! Also take a moment and note the uneven trailing edge of both wings – this youngster has started its molt that will end with the brilliant white head and tail and also the solid yellow beak of a 5-year-old adult.