It is getting harder to locate the fledglings as they daily venture further away from the nest.
I can always find them if I am there when a parent brings a fish to the nest.
The determined look on Ice’s face is there because he has seen Kate heading for the nest with a fish.
All he can think about is the food and he wants his share.
VIDEO at http://youtu.be/HzB5oGvk9_I
NOTE: wind was gusty and the 2nd video clip shows it!
First Ice brings a stick to the nest – gets it hung up on the rim and he is puzzled.
Then Wynd brings a fat stick to the nest. Gets it stuck on her foot.
Loses interest in the stick and bounces out of the nest and onto the parent’s big roost.
Only she misjudges the distance and ends up right at the end of the limb and can’t figure out what to do with her feet.
Quite a dance she does. She finally bails out.
I wonder if carrying the sticks is good practice for carrying wet slippery fish once the fledglings begin to fish for themselves.
In these photos: 1st is Ice in the very dark early morning; 2nd is Wynd landing with her right foot on the stick and her left foot on the roost.
It is bad enough that Brassy, another eagle, chases Ice every chance she gets.
It is probably an additional insult to the fledgling that a small, hopping mad, parent fishing crow also harasses the immature eagle.
The fishing crow and its mate have a nest at the end of the cove where the eagle family lives.
Like all parent birds, these crows don’t like intruders and will, as here, chase even an eagle.
By the way, Ice’s eye is in mid-blink, and is therefore not showing signs of a possible injury.
Brassy doesn’t care who she harasses, like this osprey.
All bald eagles will chase an osprey that is carrying a fish.
The eagle crowds or actually bumps the osprey until it drops its fish.
Usually the eagle snatches the falling fish before it hits the water.
Yes, the bald eagle is a thief.
Osprey is up top and Brassy is closing fast from the lower right.
I was enjoying Wynd’s flight about the cove when I saw her look over her shoulder.
I lifted my face from behind my camera and saw Brassy bearing down on the fledgling.
Wynd began screaming for parents, her wings and body and feet trying for more speed.
I briefly saw the flash of a parent past my lens then both Brassy and parent dove into the trees and I lost them.
Wynd headed for the nest on the other side of the cove.
Brassy sure knows how to disrupt a peaceful flight of exploration.
Wynd is the lower bird with Brassy almost on top of her.
VIDEO at http://youtu.be/zFaqIllLy8g
NOTE: I decided to leave the audio intact – I wanted you to be able to hear the eagles.
In my excitement I had gotten almost on top of my camera that was recording…so you can hear me and my friend talking about the action – if you would prefer, by all means mute the sound.
In the video: Ice is the fledgling to the right on the branch and Wynd is in the nest eating. Ice notices the chase first.
You get just a blurred glimpse of Brassy above the scene and then Petruchio below. The rest of the chase is out of sight (the chase from which you have seen photos).
This is the ending sequence.
Petruchio returns first – triumphant that he has chased Brassy away. Kate soon follows – watch her weight spring the limb Petruchio is on.
They both express their excitement with head throws, calls and body quivers. The fledglings are safe.
As ever, Kate gets bossy and pushes Petruchio around. He heads out and Kate is satisfied, for the moment.
In the photo below: left to right: Wynd, Ice, Kate, Petruchio.