I want to thank the Army Corps of Engineers for helping First Nest today.
Some materials had been left on the shore very close to the nest and needed to be moved before the rains of the coming week.
Jon Bannerman and Blake Johnson of ACE called me and we talked through a quiet, slow approach and pickup.
The eagle chick HC had begun branching today and this is a very critical time for a chick.
If a branching chick gets startled he thinks he can fly, but the chick doesn’t yet have the needed wing strength.
At this point the chick has only been hopping from branch to branch and if he spooks and tries to fly he will often fall instead.
As you can see in the 1st photo, Coffee on the left and H C on the right, watched ACE approach, 2nd photo.
The chicks stayed attentive and inquisitive, but because ACE was quiet and slow, the chicks stayed in the nest.
As ACE left, H C went back to branching, photos 3-6. Watch for his orange feet to follow his movements.

 

 

I am celebrating: several decades ago, on March 24, my parents gave life and breath to me. They taught me to care for the Creator and creation. The joy I have in sharing my work with all of you comes from them. I miss my parents Hubert and Lucille Tinsley, but hopefully they live on in my efforts to bring a sampling of the vibrant life around me to each of you.

Today at the First Nest I took this photo and captured the two chicks on a video as they worked to strengthen wings and bodies for their coming first flight. The chicks bounced everywhere!  Video is here https://youtu.be/tCCROQ4ksYw

A proper bald eagle scowl.  
 
Usually I am the watcher.  Today I found myself being the observed species by this osprey.
 
The tiny fluffs of feathers on each side of this double-crested cormorant’s head are his “crests”.
Only the mature double-crested cormorant has the crests.  
There are none on the immature bird at the lower right.
This is a first for me and my camera – a great horned owl.
Truly a mouthful…for this great blue heron.

There was a fish floating on the water.
The great blue heron made a dash for it.
The bald eagle made a dash too.
The great blue heron decided retreat was the better objective.
Neither bird was happy and neither got the fish.
But doc sure enjoyed the fracas!

4 year-old bald eagle watching an osprey across the cove

osprey determined to get his fish to his mate

trio of red-breasted mergansers

lead bird is an immature male, called an eclipse phase

second bird is a mature female and the last bird is a mature male

close-up of the mature male red-breasted merganser

the red-breasted merganser trio taking flight

double-crested cormorant resplendent in its green black body and neck, accented by the bronze of its wings

the small trees and tall bushes edging the lake in many areas are full of the sweet calls of the song sparrows