WALK1773 juvie eagle tilt 2015

did someone say tilt?
this yearling bald eagle seems to have thought so…

Several of you, on and off line, have asked me the question “how do I find the eagle nest so I can take photos”. This is a valid question. And I have set and thought about how to answer all of you in the clearest kindest way that I can. In the past I have told a few people how to find the New Hope nest. I also asked these people to respect the eagles and their breeding territory. It has been acknowledged by scientists that during breeding season (here in central NC from December until mid May) that at the very least you need 300 feet between a person and the base of the tree that holds an eagle’s nest. The eagles really prefer a 600 foot distance between you and their nest tree.  I think of the distances needed as those of the length of a football field (which is 360 feet end-to-end). As you could see in the video I am not close to the nest at all – as a matter of fact I am rather at a distance and using a lens set at 800mm via extenders. I made the video standing more than 300 feet away from the nest tree.  Regretfully, the people I have told about the nest have broken my trust and I have seen them actually get within 100 feet of the nest tree. The people were within a hundred feet and both eagle parents were very agitated and the intruding cameras kept clicking. So I no longer tell people how to find the nest.

I am sorry that each of you that has asked the question of “where” is caught in this situation because as far as I know, probably none of you have ever gotten close enough to an eagle’s nest to cause the parents to be disturbed. But I must act in my capacity as a veterinarian to say that I no longer tell people where that nest is located. If I tell one of you I must tell all of you and someone will say “well I only want one really close photo…and what harm can getting close enough for that one photo cause…”. I have found people in the last two weeks close enough to the eagle’s nest to cause the parents to be very upset.

     Again to each of you who are so caring about the eagles, I apologize.  I wish that I could take all of you and let you stand where I stand, 300 feet away from the nest to watch, but I cannot. The poor judgement and actions of others has kept me from answering your question the way that each of you had hoped I would.
I ask for your understanding of my predicament. I am caught between the eagles that I want to see continue to fill the skies and those of you who have graced me with your enthusiastic viewing of my attempts to let each of you share with me Creation as I am so blessed to see it.peace and grace
doc ellen
to tell about distances

WALK1095 Petruchio heading upstairs 2015

Petruchio came flashing through the trees from the right, on a horizontal line below the nest,
sat on his tail and flew nearly vertical up to the nest and over the rim
talk about an eagle being a powerful flier…

The family of eagles at New Hope appear to have survived the horrible weather of the past couple of weeks. I watched as Kate watched over her chicks and got my first glimpse of the newest eagles on Jordan lake.

in the video: Kate is sitting to the right. Petruchio, the father, is off fishing and not in the video. Just below Kate’s feet you can see one chick: look for the 1/4 round grey ball of a head and 1 dark eye. If you can’t see that chick at first, wait until the second chick shows up and you will have a better chance of seeing the first chick. The second chick makes a very, very quick appearance way to the left of the nest. The chicks are head-heavy at this point and often lose their balance until their muscles match their growing large body. So wait for the sudden moment and you can match the color of the heads and appearance of the eyes of the two chicks. Hope you enjoy!

WALK7207 3 yo kicked fish 2015

for some reason this 3 year old eagle too often misses the fish and sends it flying out behind him
sometimes the youngster will return several times to try and catch the fish
he didn’t get a chance to this time: an adult eagle dashed by, lifted the fish and was gone

WALK7056 3 yo river scanning 2015

3 year-old bald eagle scanning the river for fish