Jordan Lake: High Rise Nest. First bald eagle CHICK for us to celebrate this season!!! This is a nest that I don’t often get to see unless I am out with Captain Doug. We went drifting by yesterday and lo and behold there was a gray fuzzy chick in the nest with mom. Hooray!
Jordan Lake: Here is what I caught yesterday of the interaction between Loblolly and the three-year-old gang of eight member. 1st photo: the three-year-old is sitting up in the tree quite proud of itself. 2nd photo: Mom Loblolly is at about Mach 3 heading straight for that three year old. 3rd photo: the three-year-old has realized that he is in danger and in a very wrong place as he turns and is trying to launch. 4th photo: above the pine branch you can see a blurred Mom Loblolly‘s head and below that same branch you can see the tail of the three-year-old. 5th photo: the three-year-old catching its balance on a branch before it leaps out. 6th photo: the scared and fleeing 3-year-old passed me in a hurry. 7th photo: mom Loblolly is heading back up towards the nest area. In yesterday‘s video you can see mom Loblolly enjoying a bit of a rest and some grooming after the ouster of the obnoxious three-year-old bald eagle.
Jordan Lake: Three of the three year olds – actually that’s all of the three olds of the gang of eight – have been pestering the nest this morning. Mom Loblolly finally caught one of them not really being on guard and she chased the 3 year old hard. I hope to put up some of the photos of that chase later. But thought I would share this natural minute of Loblolly after she did the chasing and she’s doing a little bit of grooming. Hope you enjoy the little video. #DocEllensNaturalMinute
Jordan Lake: Mom Loblolly brought a nice-sized fish to a tree for her breakfast yesterday. She ate it in a hurry, keeping a close eye out for any of the Gang of Eight. When Loblolly finished her meal, she did a short skip over to an outer branch of the tree where she was perched. Mom’s head nodded and cocked and I could tell she was looking for a repair stick for the nest. Up in the air Mom went and she did indeed break a fair-sized branch away from the tree. I watched in concern, not that the load was too big for her (it wasn’t), but because instead of making a straight line for the nest, she suddenly veered. At the point where the parking lot at the shelter came into her sight, she dipped a wing, and detoured out more than a 1000 feet before heading much further up the shoreline. Around the northern bend of the shoreline, Mom with her stick turned back towards the nest. Instead of a few wing beats to get to the nest with her stick, Loblolly’s flight was about tripled. I don’t know if it was visitors in the parking lot or possibly one of the Gang of Eight that caused the large detour. Either way I mused on the extra energy Loblolly was expending in an effort to get a stick to the nest for the repair. With all the high gusty winds we have had lately, I would not be surprised if several of the bald eagle nests at Jordan Lake have been in need of repair. I just wish Loblolly wasn’t having to make detours for any reason.
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.
Jordan Lake: Over the last couple of days I have observed a new to me bald eagle behavior. I have watched immature bald eagles raid the nests of adult eagles. Those raids have always been a one on one situation. This Gang of Eight Bandits is harassing not only the Big Pine Nest but also the H&G nest. So far, thankfully, I’ve not seen any of the immature bald eagles actually make it into either nest. But I will not be surprised if that does happen. I have watched paired adult eagles tag team when they were catching gulls on the water. I am beginning to wonder if this Gang of Eight Bandits might not try to tag team one or both of the nests. I will keep watching and praying that it is only harassment that occurs. As I have said before, this activity really puts a great deal of strain and stress on the parents at Big Pine Nest because they are dealing with both human and eagle intrusions. I have put the immature photos in no particular sequence other than the most interesting youngster is first. It happens to be the four-year-old – and it is indeed a masked bandit. There are 3 one-year-olds and 1 two-year-old and 3 three-year-olds and the four-year-old that make up the Gang of Eight Bandits.