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: 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.
Jordan Lake, H&G Nest Report: The bald eagle Dad Hershey at H&G nest, several vultures and a red-tailed hawk were all circling in the same kettle of rising air. For whatever reason the red tail hawk decided to fuss at Dad Hershey. They had a face off, way up in the air! They glared, made threats and then broke away from each other. Dad Hershey then dashed down to the lake and grabbed a fish that a ring-billed gull had dropped. The bald eagle took the fish back to a big branch and was happily eating on the fish when, for whatever reason, the red-tailed hawk showed up and complained and made Dad Hershey duck and scrunch down. Apparently having had it’s say, the red-tailed hawk then sailed off into the tree line. I don’t know what started all the ruckus. Neither bird has eggs or chicks in a nest. So, maybe it was just that the red-tailed hawk had a desire to be crabby. Or maybe I should say hawkish?