Jordan Lake: Big Pine Nest. This morning I saw four of the Bandits of the Gang of Eight. In these two photos you see first Mom Loblolly and she was very very angry and upset and yelling. In the second photo you can see why Mom was so upset. In the upper left of the photo is one of the yearlings from the gang and it is circling above her. Right after I took this photo Loblolly took off, still screaming, after the immature bald eagle and they both disappeared up lake. Please note that I added a little bit of blue to the sky so that you can see Loblolly better… I took these photos in between rain showers this morning, about 9 AM, and all of the photos were gray on gray on gray.

Loblolly
Loblolly to the right; intruding 1-year-old at upper left

Jordan Lake. Doc is getting rather WORRIED. Besides the intrusion of humans, the parents at Big Pine Nest are now having to contend with the intrusion of immature bald eagles. All parent eagles have two or three or more sentinel trees, where they sit so they can watch the nest and watch the surrounding areas. The parents switch between the sentinel points during the day because that’s telling other eagles that inside the area where I am perching, I am staking out my territory: inside this area is MINE and you stay away. Well, with human intruders coming into the parking lot, that has pushed Loblolly and Pitch into using only two out of the three most frequent territory perches that they like. So, I watched as a three year old bald eagle came out from the area of the parking lot at shelter 8 and went fishing. Parent bald eagles do Not allow immature bald eagles to fish in the area immediately in front of their nest. As soon as Dad Pitch realized there was a problem, he turned around and chased the three-year-old eagle back out of the area. So you can see the problem: instead of being able to stake out a territory by using several sentinel trees, the parents are now limited to only two points because of the human intrusions and the immature bald eagles have noted this. I watched a second immature eagle pull this same stunt. This is very dangerous as we all remember what happened over at First Nest when an immature eagle got into the nest and ate the eggs there. I keep calling and sending emails to those who can close the gate. I ask all of you to please continue to go to the petition at https://chng.it/hRtHXdzg9z and sign/share and to call and to send emails to contacts found on https://www.facebook.com/100063040248633/posts/285177876926885/ . Thank you! (photos 1&2 is the 3-year-old bald eagle; photo 3 is Dad Pitch; pink smudge is from branches I was shooting through).

3-year-old bald eagle
3-year-old bald eagle
Dad Pitch

Jordan Lake. The Captain and I were out on the lake yesterday afternoon doing bald eagle nest checks. We came across this unknown adult bald eagle sitting at the northern Sentinel Point for the Big Pine Nest. I did not recognize this bald eagle. Notice that this eagle has feathers growing out of her nares/nostrils. Quite a distinct marking, yes? We saw this eagle at 1:28 PM. We went wandering off to check other nests around the lake. At 2:24 PM we came back around to Big Pine Nest and there was mom Loblolly sitting where the unknown eagle had been perched earlier. While we were watching, as you can see, mom jumped off of the Sentinel Point perch and went barreling down the shoreline, turned sharply past the nest and disappeared in the tree line. I was trying to photograph the little speck of Loblolly in the tree line, when back around the same track that mom Loblolly had taken, came that same unknown adult bald eagle (the one with the nares feather). The unknown adult went zipping right past the nest and headed north up the lake. Dad Pitch stayed hunkered down on top of the eggs, protecting them. Very interesting episode! Hard enough on Loblolly and Pitch that humans are intruding, much less having another adult eagle show up in the area!

Unknown Intruder, with nares feathere
Mom Loblolly
unknown intruder again
Dad Pitch, can see a bare white streak of his head

Jordan Lake: Eggs have been laid! This afternoon the Captain and I were out on his boat doing nest checks. This photo was made at a distance of an eighth of a mile – 660ft. You cannot see this view from anywhere on land. So please remember that and let’s remind everybody to not actually enter the shelter area. In this kind of cold weather if either parent comes off those eggs and leaves them for even a few minutes the eggs will die. An attempt at getting a sighting or a photo from land is not worth the loss of a single egg. You have to look carefully to see Dad Pitch’s eye through the branches – the yellow arrow is just below his eye. Dad is small and sits down low in the nest.

Mom Loblolly at Big Pine nest. I did not see her mate Pitch this morning. Neither did I see an eagle close to the nest or nest tree. I will be checking again tomorrow.

The yellow arrow is pointing at Hershey at H&G nest. He was the one that was doing the incubating this morning. He is much smaller than his mate Godiva. So you have to look hard to see him just above the point of the yellow arrow and snugged up against the main trunk.

It was pretty darn cold this morning. I was startled to see coming up off the edge of the lake, out of the water, an ice cold ghost bald eagle. She was magnificent. I always enjoy it when I get to add to the legends of Jordan Lake! I hope you enjoy this legend too.


H&G Nest: Mom Godiva laid her egg(s) 01/19/2022! In the photo she is in what we call “incubation posture” – she is snugged down on top of her eggs. Adult and immature bald eagles do well in cold air, but eggs and chicks do not. If Mom Godiva were to leave her eggs uncovered for a few minutes in this weather (at the moment it is 33°F with a windchill of 21°F) the embryos would die. So from now until the eggs hatch and the chicks get past the 2-week-old age point, it is imperative that mom or dad are tight against the eggs for all but a few moments.


Big Pine Nest: That is dad Pitch, way, way down the shoreline from his nest. The photo was taken on Thursday. I did not see Mom Loblolly so I don’t know if eggs have been laid yet.
I sure hope, for all of us, that the sun soon pops out and the roads dry out and become safe for travel.
Please stay warm and safe through the weekend. If you haven’t had a chance to contact those who can close the gate to protect Big Pine Nest and/or to sign the petition, grab a hot cup of coffee or tea, go to https://chng.it/h7Pnj5PQXY petition and https://docellensjourney.com/2022/01/08/help-big-pine-bald-eagle-nest-a-dozen-contacts/ for contacts and take action and help Loblolly and Pitch have a safe haven at their shelter.