Posts Tagged ‘eaglets’

An Eagle Visit

I photographed the foxes in our yard for the first time this year on April 15. I was so excited, I thought it would make a special day even more special to visit the bald eagle nest too.

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 The day was cloudy and windy.  I don’t like to get too close to the nest and possibly stress the parents.

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Obviously, the one on the left is young … and bigger than I expected.

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  There’s such a feeling to be in the presence of eagles.

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This picture shows 3 in the nest. From a couple of my other pictures, there’s at least 2 eaglets.

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This tree lost a whole trunk 3 or 4 years ago. Eagles will use the same nest every year until something happens to the tree. I do hope that time is a long way away.

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So I had my day with both the foxes and the eagles. Now you can to.

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Backyard Eagle Encounter

I was sitting at the computer by the picture window that looks out over our backyard. An eagle circled and went back over the strip pit. Another adult bald eagle did the same. I called my mother to “nanner nanner.” One eagle returned. I got off the phone, grabbed my camera and hurried outside.

The other eagle returned too. They circled here and there, heading north and returning, back and forth over the old strip pit behind the house and returning. A strong south wind blew, blowing cumulus clouds to the north, speeding the eagles’ flight and complicating picture-taking.

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They’d disappear and return. I’d occasionally hear one of their  eek” calls. I lost concept of time. Nothing but waiting for them,  and watching them, trying to get pictures. Then a 3rd adult eagle joined them. They didn’t sound to pleased about that. Heard occasional “eeeek” calls.

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I did pause occasionally to breathe. They were closer than they look in the pictures. If I zoomed in too much I couldn’t find them before they were too far off. The back and forth behind the strip pit, and flights to the north and back continued.

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Obviously, the first 2 were a mated pair and the third an intruder. This got me wondering when they mate in southern Illinois and lay their eggs. Big birds obviously take longer to reach maturity.

Great horned owls begin nesting here in southern Illinois at the end of January. Bald eagles incubate their eggs 35 days, and the eaglets fly at 70-75 days. That’s roughly over 3 months.  I couldn’t find the information I wanted online. I’ll file these questions in my brain somewhere and maybe will learn the answers sometime.

Eagle Diary — April 11

Eagle feeding young on April 11

Wednesday, April 11. Time 9am. Temperature 45, and a west wind blew. The tree was completely leafed out.

An adult stood just inside the nest, obviously tending to young. The other adult wasn’t anywhere around. I opened the door to take  pictures of the nest and heard another eagle repeat its “kleek” calls. I didn’t pay any attention to the direction the calls came from or look for the other eagle.

I took several pictures and then eased the truck up a little closer. She was definitely feeding young.   She’d bring her head up. Her beak would open and close quickly, and then she’d lean down again. I wondered what the prey was that she had in the nest to feed them. This continued for a few minutes.

I drove on past the nest and turned around. An eagle flew to the east, toward a large body of water, and maybe on from there. I lost sight of it. Then when I passed the nest, the adult was gone (probably the one I just watched flying east).  Another large bird flew to the north. No matter how hard I tried to turn the large bird into an eagle, it was still a great blue heron. The blue-gray on top of its wings was obvious with the sunlight hitting it.

Either the adult was hunkered down in the nest when I passed (which I doubted) or was out hunting for food. This must mean the young were old enough to keep themselves warm. I couldn’t imagine the adult going far for food or leaving the eaglets unprotected for very long. Of course the eaglets were probably hunkered together. The sunlight warming them. The nest would also be adequately lined for warmth.

As I left I wondered if there were 1, 2 or 3 eaglets in the nest. It would still be nice to have a periscope to see down into the nest. Patience was never one of my better virtues.